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Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Qiwi plc (NASDAQ:QIWI)?

Simply Wall St
·4 min read

Qiwi (NASDAQ:QIWI) has had a rough three months with its share price down 38%. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. In this article, we decided to focus on Qiwi's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Qiwi

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Qiwi is:

18% = ₽4.9b ÷ ₽27b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.18 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learnt that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Qiwi's Earnings Growth And 18% ROE

At first glance, Qiwi seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 17%. As you might expect, the 6.7% net income decline reported by Qiwi is a bit of a surprise. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

That being said, we compared Qiwi's performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 10% in the same period.

NasdaqGS:QIWI Past Earnings Growth May 19th 2020
NasdaqGS:QIWI Past Earnings Growth May 19th 2020

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Has the market priced in the future outlook for QIWI? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Qiwi Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Qiwi's 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 74% (or a retention ratio of 26%). The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run. Our risks dashboard should have the 2 risks we have identified for Qiwi.

Moreover, Qiwi has been paying dividends for seven 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 46% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 30%, over the same period.

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that Qiwi has some positive attributes. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return. Investors could have benefitted from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. As discussed earlier, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow 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.

Love or hate this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email 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. 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. Thank you for reading.