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Diploma PLC's (LON:DPLM) Stock Is Going Strong: Have Financials A Role To Play?

·4 min read

Most readers would already be aware that Diploma's (LON:DPLM) stock increased significantly by 8.6% over the past month. 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 an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View 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 yearly profit. 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 Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. 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. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 13%, we aren't very excited. Although, we can see that Diploma saw a modest net income growth of 7.7% over the past five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently. However, not to forget, the company does have a decent ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. 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

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. If you're wondering about Diploma's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Diploma Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

While Diploma has a three-year median payout ratio of 53% (which means it retains 47% of profits), the company has still seen a fair bit of earnings growth in the past, meaning that its high payout ratio hasn't hampered its ability to grow.

Additionally, Diploma has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 49% of its profits over the next three years. However, Diploma's ROE is predicted to rise to 19% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.

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. 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. 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.