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Most readers would already know that Big River Industries' (ASX:BRI) stock increased by 2.4% over the past month. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to investigate if the company's decent financials had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on Big River Industries' ROE.
ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How Is ROE Calculated?
ROE can be calculated by using the formula:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Big River Industries is:
6.2% = AU$4.4m ÷ AU$72m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.06 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.
Big River Industries' Earnings Growth And 6.2% ROE
When you first look at it, Big River Industries' ROE doesn't look that attractive. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 6.7%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. On the other hand, Big River Industries reported a moderate 8.1% net income growth over the past five years. Considering the moderately low ROE, it is quite possible that there might be some other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.
We then performed a comparison between Big River Industries' net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 9.4% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Big River Industries is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Big River Industries Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Big River Industries has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 61%, meaning that it is left with only 39% to reinvest into its business. This implies that the company has been able to achieve decent earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.
Moreover, Big River Industries is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of three years of paying a dividend. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 60%. Still, forecasts suggest that Big River Industries' future ROE will rise to 13% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
On the whole, we do feel that Big River Industries has some positive attributes. Namely, its high earnings growth. We do however feel that the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings and paid out less dividends. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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