Ocean Wilsons Holdings (LON:OCN) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 21% over the last three months. However, in this article, we decided to focus on its weak fundamentals, as long-term financial performance of a business is what ultimatley dictates market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Ocean Wilsons Holdings' 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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
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 Ocean Wilsons Holdings is:
6.5% = US$48m ÷ US$744m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.06 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For 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. 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 Ocean Wilsons Holdings' Earnings Growth And 6.5% ROE
On the face of it, Ocean Wilsons Holdings' ROE is not much to talk about. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 7.4%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. But Ocean Wilsons Holdings saw a five year net income decline of 7.5% over the past five years. Bear in mind, the company does have a slightly low ROE. Hence, this goes some way in explaining the shrinking earnings.
From the 7.5% decline reported by the industry in the same period, we infer that Ocean Wilsons Holdings and its industry are both shrinking at a similar rate.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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 OCN worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether OCN is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Ocean Wilsons Holdings Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 79% (implying that 21% of the profits are retained), most of Ocean Wilsons Holdings' profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. With only very little left to reinvest into the business, growth in earnings is far from likely. Our risks dashboard should have the 3 risks we have identified for Ocean Wilsons Holdings.
In addition, Ocean Wilsons Holdings has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 61% over the next three years.
In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Ocean Wilsons Holdings. The company has seen a lack of earnings growth as a result of retaining very little profits and whatever little it does retain, is being reinvested at a very low rate of return. 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. 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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