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Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About MNF Group Limited (ASX:MNF)?

Simply Wall St
·4 min read

MNF Group (ASX:MNF) has had a rough month with its share price down 5.8%. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Particularly, we will be paying attention to MNF Group's ROE today.

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.

View our latest analysis for MNF Group

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 MNF Group is:

8.6% = AU$12m ÷ AU$139m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.09 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

A Side By Side comparison of MNF Group's Earnings Growth And 8.6% ROE

When you first look at it, MNF Group's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 11%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. MNF Group was still able to see a decent net income growth of 6.7% over the past five years. So, the growth in the company's earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

We then compared MNF Group's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 16% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for MNF? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is MNF Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

MNF Group has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 48% (or a retention ratio of 52%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.

Moreover, MNF Group is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 37% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 15% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like MNF Group has some positive aspects to its business. Namely, its respectable earnings growth, which it achieved due to it retaining most of its profits. However, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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. 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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