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Krones AG's (ETR:KRN) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

Most readers would already be aware that Krones' (ETR:KRN) stock increased significantly by 18% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Specifically, we decided to study Krones' 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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Krones

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 Krones is:

12% = €183m ÷ €1.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every €1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated €0.12 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.

Krones' Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To start with, Krones' ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 12%. As you might expect, the 21% net income decline reported by Krones is a bit of a surprise. So, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

Furthermore, even when compared to the industry, which has been shrinking its earnings at a rate 1.9% in the same period, we found that Krones' performance is pretty disappointing, as it suggests that the company has been shrunk its earnings at a rate faster than the industry.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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 KRN worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether KRN is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Krones Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Krones' low three-year median payout ratio of 24% (or a retention ratio of 76%) over the last three years should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth but the company's earnings have actually shrunk. The low payout should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings and consequently, should see some growth. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Moreover, Krones 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. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 28%. Regardless, the future ROE for Krones is predicted to rise to 14% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Krones certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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.

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

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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