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Brickworks (ASX:BKW) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 13% over the last month. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. Specifically, we decided to study Brickworks' ROE in this article.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
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 Brickworks is:
25% = AU$749m ÷ AU$3.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2022).
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$0.25 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. 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.
Brickworks' Earnings Growth And 25% ROE
To begin with, Brickworks has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Additionally, a comparison with the average industry ROE of 25% also portrays the company's ROE in a good light. Given the circumstances, the significant 26% net income growth seen by Brickworks over the last five years is not surprising.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Brickworks' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 3.9% in the same period, which is great to see.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. 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 Brickworks is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Brickworks Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Brickworks' three-year median payout ratio is a pretty moderate 36%, meaning the company retains 64% of its income. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the high growth we discussed above, it looks like Brickworks is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.
Additionally, Brickworks has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 48% over the next three years. Therefore, the expected rise in the payout ratio explains why the company's ROE is expected to decline to 7.0% over the same period.
On the whole, we feel that Brickworks' performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial 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. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
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