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iomart Group plc (LON:IOM) Stock's Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Decent: Will The Market Correct The Share Price In The Future?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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iomart Group (LON:IOM) has had a rough week with its share price down 2.9%. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study iomart Group's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for iomart Group

How Do You 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 iomart Group is:

10% = UK£11m ÷ UK£113m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.10 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of iomart Group's Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

At first glance, iomart Group seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 10%. Despite the moderate return on equity, iomart Group has posted a net income growth of 4.4% over the past five years. We reckon that a low growth, when returns are moderate could be the result of certain circumstances like low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

We then compared iomart Group's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 21% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is iomart Group fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is iomart Group Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

The high three-year median payout ratio of 62% (that is, the company retains only 38% of its income) over the past three years for iomart Group suggests that the company's earnings growth was lower as a result of paying out a majority of its earnings.

In addition, iomart Group 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. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 40% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 18% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like iomart Group has some positive aspects to its business. However, while the company does have a high ROE, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing. This can be blamed on the fact that it reinvests only a small portion of its profits and pays out the rest as dividends. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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.

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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