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With its stock down 9.3% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Exco Technologies (TSE:XTC). We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, and therefore we decided to pay more attention to the company's financial performance. Specifically, we decided to study Exco Technologies' 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.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 Exco Technologies is:
7.0% = CA$24m ÷ CA$336m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every CA$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of CA$0.07.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.
Exco Technologies' Earnings Growth And 7.0% ROE
On the face of it, Exco Technologies' ROE is not much to talk about. Yet, a closer study shows that the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 7.8%. Having said that, Exco Technologies' five year net income decline rate was 9.0%. Remember, the company's ROE is a bit low to begin with. Therefore, the decline in earnings could also be the result of this.
With the industry earnings declining at a rate of 11% in the same period, we deduce that both the company and the industry are shrinking at the same rate.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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 Exco Technologies''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Exco Technologies Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
In spite of a normal three-year median payout ratio of 48% (that is, a retention ratio of 52%), the fact that Exco Technologies' earnings have shrunk is quite puzzling. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.
Moreover, Exco Technologies has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Exco Technologies can be open to many interpretations. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings 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. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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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.