It is hard to get excited after looking at Ansell's (ASX:ANN) recent performance, when its stock has declined 9.2% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. In this article, we decided to focus on Ansell'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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 Ansell is:
9.3% = US$147m ÷ US$1.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).
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$0.09 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.
Ansell's Earnings Growth And 9.3% ROE
When you first look at it, Ansell's ROE doesn't look that attractive. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 9.2%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. Having said that, Ansell has shown a modest net income growth of 10% over the past five years. Taking into consideration that the ROE is not particularly high, we reckon that there could also be other factors at play which could be influencing the company's 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.
We then compared Ansell's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 4.7% in the same 5-year period.
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. 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 ANN? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Ansell Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Ansell has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 42% (or a retention ratio of 58%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.
Moreover, Ansell is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 44% of its profits over the next three years. As a result, Ansell's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 8.8% for future ROE.
On the whole, we do feel that Ansell 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. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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.
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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.