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Has Diploma PLC's (LON:DPLM) Impressive Stock Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Fundamentals?

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·4 min read
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Most readers would already be aware that Diploma's (LON:DPLM) stock increased significantly by 26% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Specifically, we decided to study Diploma's ROE in this article.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Diploma

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 Diploma is:

10% = UK£51m ÷ UK£500m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.10 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. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

Diploma's Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

At first glance, Diploma seems to have a decent ROE. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 14% does temper our expectations. Although, we can see that Diploma saw a modest net income growth of 7.7% over the past five years. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this also does lend some color to the fairly high earnings growth seen by the company.

We then performed a comparison between Diploma's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 7.5% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). 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 Diploma is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Diploma Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Diploma has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 53%, meaning that it is left with only 47% to reinvest into its business. This implies that the company has been able to achieve decent earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Moreover, Diploma 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 49%. Still, forecasts suggest that Diploma's future ROE will rise to 19% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.

Summary

In total, it does look like Diploma has some positive aspects to its business. Especially the substantial growth in earnings backed by a decent ROE. Despite the company reinvesting only a small portion of its profits, it still has managed to grow its earnings so that is appreciable. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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.

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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