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Is Marine Petroleum Trust's (NASDAQ:MARP.S) Recent Price Movement Underpinned By Its Weak Fundamentals?

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·4 min read
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It is hard to get excited after looking at Marine Petroleum Trust's (NASDAQ:MARP.S) recent performance, when its stock has declined 5.1% over the past week. We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Specifically, we decided to study Marine Petroleum Trust's 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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Marine Petroleum Trust

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Marine Petroleum Trust is:

58% = US$557k ÷ US$965k (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.58.

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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

Marine Petroleum Trust's Earnings Growth And 58% ROE

First thing first, we like that Marine Petroleum Trust has an impressive ROE. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 7.4% the company's ROE is quite impressive. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that Marine Petroleum Trust's net income shrunk at a rate of 24% over the past five years. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

So, as a next step, we compared Marine Petroleum Trust's performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 21% 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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Marine Petroleum Trust is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Marine Petroleum Trust Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

With a high three-year median payout ratio of 96% (implying that 3.5% of the profits are retained), most of Marine Petroleum Trust'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 5 risks we have identified for Marine Petroleum Trust.

Additionally, Marine Petroleum Trust has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Marine Petroleum Trust can be open to many interpretations. In spite of the high ROE, the company has failed to see growth in its earnings due to it paying out most of its profits as dividend, with almost nothing left to invest into its own business. So far, we've only made a quick discussion around the company's earnings growth. You can do your own research on Marine Petroleum Trust and see how it has performed in the past by looking at this FREE detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.

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.