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Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Photo-Me International plc (LON:PHTM)?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Photo-Me International's (LON:PHTM) recent performance, when its stock has declined 13% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study Photo-Me International's ROE in this article.

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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Photo-Me International

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Photo-Me International is:

24% = UK£29m ÷ UK£122m (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.24 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.

Photo-Me International's Earnings Growth And 24% ROE

First thing first, we like that Photo-Me International has an impressive ROE. Further, even comparing with the industry average if 21%, the company's ROE is quite respectable. However, while Photo-Me International has a pretty respectable ROE, its five year net income decline rate was 15%. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

However, when we compared Photo-Me International's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 31% 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. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. What is PHTM worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether PHTM is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Photo-Me International Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

While the company did payout a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. This implies that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Photo-Me International certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.