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Is Costa Group Holdings Limited's (ASX:CGC) Recent Performancer Underpinned By Weak Financials?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Costa Group Holdings' (ASX:CGC) recent performance, when its stock has declined 12% over the past month. We decided to study the company's financials to determine if the downtrend will continue as the long-term performance of a company usually dictates market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on Costa Group Holdings' 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.

See our latest analysis for Costa Group Holdings

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Costa Group Holdings is:

6.3% = AU$52m ÷ AU$828m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax 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$0.06 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Costa Group Holdings' Earnings Growth And 6.3% ROE

When you first look at it, Costa Group Holdings' ROE doesn't look that attractive. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 9.3%. For this reason, Costa Group Holdings' five year net income decline of 18% is not surprising given its lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.

However, when we compared Costa Group Holdings' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 13% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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 Costa Group Holdings is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Costa Group Holdings Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Costa Group Holdings' declining earnings is not surprising given how the company is spending most of its profits in paying dividends, judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 64% (or a retention ratio of 36%). With only very little left to reinvest into the business, growth in earnings is far from likely. To know the 4 risks we have identified for Costa Group Holdings visit our risks dashboard for free.

Moreover, Costa Group Holdings has been paying dividends for six years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer consistent dividends even though earnings have been shrinking. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 63%. Regardless, the future ROE for Costa Group Holdings is predicted to rise to 11% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Costa Group Holdings. As a result of its low ROE and lack of much reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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.

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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