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Probiotec Limited's (ASX:PBP) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

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Probiotec (ASX:PBP) has had a rough week with its share price down 2.1%. 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 Probiotec's ROE in this article.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

View our latest analysis for Probiotec

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Probiotec is:

12% = AU$8.3m ÷ AU$71m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.12 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

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

Probiotec's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

At first glance, Probiotec seems to have a decent ROE. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 18%, we aren't very excited. However, we are pleased to see the impressive 23% net income growth reported by Probiotec over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently. However, not to forget, the company does have a decent ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. So this certainly also provides some context to the high earnings growth seen by the company.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Probiotec's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 40% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is Probiotec fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Probiotec Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Probiotec's significant three-year median payout ratio of 56% (where it is retaining only 44% of its income) suggests that the company has been able to achieve a high growth in earnings despite returning most of its income to shareholders.

Besides, Probiotec has been paying dividends over a period of six years. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 37% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 19%, over the same period.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Probiotec certainly does have some positive factors to consider. True, the company has posted a respectable growth in earnings. However, the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings and paying out less dividends. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company's earnings growth is expected be similar to its current growth rate. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.

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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