It is hard to get excited after looking at Over the Wire Holdings' (ASX:OTW) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.8% over the past month. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Specifically, we decided to study Over the Wire Holdings' 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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Over the Wire Holdings is:
7.3% = AU$5.0m ÷ AU$69m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every A$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A$0.07 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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.
Over the Wire Holdings' Earnings Growth And 7.3% ROE
On the face of it, Over the Wire Holdings' ROE is not much to talk about. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 13%. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that Over the Wire Holdings grew its net income at a significant rate of 28% in the last five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
As a next step, we compared Over the Wire Holdings' net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 21%.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for OTW? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Over the Wire Holdings Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Over the Wire Holdings' ' three-year median payout ratio is on the lower side at 20% implying that it is retaining a higher percentage (80%) of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.
Moreover, Over the Wire Holdings is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of four years of paying a dividend. 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 19%. Still, forecasts suggest that Over the Wire Holdings' future ROE will rise to 16% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
On the whole, we do feel that Over the Wire Holdings has some positive attributes. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. 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 latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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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