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Magna International Inc.'s (TSE:MG) On An Uptrend But Financial Prospects Look Pretty Weak: Is The Stock Overpriced?

Magna International's (TSE:MG) stock is up by a considerable 13% over the past month. We, however wanted to have a closer look at its key financial indicators as the markets usually pay for long-term fundamentals, and in this case, they don't look very promising. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Magna International's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

Check out our latest analysis for Magna International

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 Magna International is:

9.4% = US$1.1b ÷ US$12b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each CA$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made CA$0.09 in profit.

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 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.

Magna International's Earnings Growth And 9.4% ROE

On the face of it, Magna International's ROE is not much to talk about. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 9.5%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. Having said that, Magna International's five year net income decline rate was 22%. Remember, the company's ROE is a bit low to begin with. So that's what might be causing earnings growth to shrink.

Furthermore, even when compared to the industry, which has been shrinking its earnings at a rate of 11% over the last few years, we found that Magna International's 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 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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is Magna International fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Magna International Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

With a high three-year median payout ratio of 55% (implying that 45% of the profits are retained), most of Magna International's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run. Our risks dashboard should have the 2 risks we have identified for Magna International.

In addition, Magna International 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 23% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 17% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Magna International. Because the company is not reinvesting much into the business, and given the low ROE, it's not surprising to see the lack or absence of growth in its earnings. 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 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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