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McGrath Limited's (ASX:MEA) Stock Has Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Strong: Is The Market Wrong?

It is hard to get excited after looking at McGrath's (ASX:MEA) recent performance, when its stock has declined 27% over the past three months. However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. In this article, we decided to focus on McGrath's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. 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 McGrath

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 McGrath is:

35% = AU$18m ÷ AU$51m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.35 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.

McGrath's Earnings Growth And 35% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that McGrath has a significantly high ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 7.4% which is quite remarkable. As a result, McGrath's exceptional 37% net income growth seen over the past five years, doesn't come as a surprise.

When you consider the fact that the industry earnings have shrunk at a rate of 10% in the same period, the company's net income growth is pretty remarkable.

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). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. 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 McGrath is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is McGrath Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

McGrath's ' three-year median payout ratio is on the lower side at 12% implying that it is retaining a higher percentage (88%) of its profits. So it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business and this reflects in its earnings growth number.

Additionally, McGrath has paid dividends over a period of six years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with McGrath's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Not to forget, share price outcomes are also dependent on the potential risks a company may face. So it is important for investors to be aware of the risks involved in the business. To know the 4 risks we have identified for McGrath visit our risks dashboard for free.

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.