# Does Monash IVF Group Limited's (ASX:MVF) Weak Fundamentals Mean That The Stock Could Move In The Opposite Direction?

Monash IVF Group's (ASX:MVF) stock is up by 6.7% over the past three months. Given that the markets usually pay for the long-term financial health of a company, we wonder if the current momentum in the share price will keep up, given that the company's financials don't look very promising. In this article, we decided to focus on Monash IVF Group's ROE.

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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Monash IVF Group

## How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Monash IVF Group is:

6.3% = AU\$17m ÷ AU\$272m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A\$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A\$0.06 in profit.

## What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.

## A Side By Side comparison of Monash IVF Group's Earnings Growth And 6.3% ROE

At first glance, Monash IVF Group's ROE doesn't look very promising. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 6.3%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. But then again, Monash IVF Group's five year net income shrunk at a rate of 2.5%. Bear in mind, the company does have a slightly low ROE. So that's what might be causing earnings growth to shrink.

That being said, we compared Monash IVF Group'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 11% in the same period.

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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. What is MVF worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether MVF is currently mispriced by the market.

## Is Monash IVF Group Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Monash IVF Group has a high three-year median payout ratio of 66% (that is, it is retaining 34% of its profits). This suggests that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This goes some way in explaining why its earnings have been shrinking. With only a little being reinvested into the business, earnings growth would obviously be low or non-existent.

Additionally, Monash IVF Group has paid dividends over a period of eight years, which means that the company's management is rather focused on keeping up its dividend payments, regardless of the shrinking earnings. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 70%. Regardless, the future ROE for Monash IVF Group is predicted to rise to 12% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

## Summary

Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Monash IVF Group. As a result of its low ROE and lack of much reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. 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. 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.

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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.

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