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Should You Be Concerned With AST Groupe's (EPA:ASP) -9.5% Earnings Drop?

Simply Wall St

Examining AST Groupe's (EPA:ASP) past track record of performance is an insightful exercise for investors. It allows us to reflect on whether or not the company has met or exceed expectations, which is a great indicator for future performance. Today I will assess ASP's latest performance announced on 31 December 2018 and compare these figures to its longer term trend and industry movements.

See our latest analysis for AST Groupe

Was ASP weak performance lately part of a long-term decline?

ASP's trailing twelve-month earnings (from 31 December 2018) of €8.0m has declined by -9.5% compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, this one-year growth rate has been lower than its average earnings growth rate over the past 5 years of 57%, indicating the rate at which ASP is growing has slowed down. What could be happening here? Well, let’s take a look at what’s occurring with margins and whether the entire industry is facing the same headwind.

ENXTPA:ASP Income Statement, April 17th 2019

In terms of returns from investment, AST Groupe has invested its equity funds well leading to a 22% return on equity (ROE), above the sensible minimum of 20%. Furthermore, its return on assets (ROA) of 5.6% exceeds the FR Consumer Durables industry of 4.5%, indicating AST Groupe has used its assets more efficiently. And finally, its return on capital (ROC), which also accounts for AST Groupe’s debt level, has increased over the past 3 years from 8.8% to 16%.

What does this mean?

While past data is useful, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Companies that are profitable, but have volatile earnings, can have many factors influencing its business. I recommend you continue to research AST Groupe to get a more holistic view of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ASP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ASP’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Are ASP’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the trailing twelve months from 31 December 2018. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.