It is hard to get excited after looking at Brickworks' (ASX:BKW) recent performance, when its stock has declined 9.2% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Brickworks' ROE today.
Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 Brickworks is:
11% = AU$405m ÷ AU$3.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2023).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every A$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A$0.11 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Assuming everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.
Brickworks' Earnings Growth And 11% ROE
To start with, Brickworks' ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 9.6%. This certainly adds some context to Brickworks' exceptional 32% net income growth seen over the past five years. We believe that there might also be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.
As a next step, we compared Brickworks' net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 3.0%.
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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about Brickworks''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Brickworks Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Brickworks' three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 24%, which is quite low. This implies that the company is retaining 76% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.
Moreover, Brickworks is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 41% over the next three years. Therefore, the expected rise in the payout ratio explains why the company's ROE is expected to decline to 6.8% over the same period.
On the whole, we feel that Brickworks' performance has been quite good. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a sizeable growth in its earnings. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.