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EnerSys' (NYSE:ENS) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

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EnerSys (NYSE:ENS) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 30% over the last three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on EnerSys' ROE.

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.

View our latest analysis for EnerSys

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for EnerSys is:

11% = US$137m ÷ US$1.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.11 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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 everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

A Side By Side comparison of EnerSys' Earnings Growth And 11% ROE

At first glance, EnerSys seems to have a decent ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 10% the company's ROE looks quite decent. Given the circumstances, we can't help but wonder why EnerSys saw little to no growth in the past five years. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that the industry grew its earnings by6.5% 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. Is EnerSys fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is EnerSys Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

EnerSys' low three-year median payout ratio of 19% (implying that the company keeps81% of its income) should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth and this should be reflected in its growth number, but that's not the case.

Moreover, EnerSys has been paying dividends for seven years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 13% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 13% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that EnerSys has some positive attributes. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.