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Is Avon Protection plc's (LON:AVON) Recent Performancer Underpinned By Weak Financials?

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With its stock down 28% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Avon Protection (LON:AVON). We decided to study the company's financials to determine if the downtrend will continue as the long-term performance of a company usually dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Avon Protection's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

Check out our latest analysis for Avon Protection

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 Avon Protection is:

4.0% = US$8.5m ÷ US$215m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.04 in profit.

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. 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.

Avon Protection's Earnings Growth And 4.0% ROE

On the face of it, Avon Protection's ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 9.1%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 25% seen by Avon Protection was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.

So, as a next step, we compared Avon Protection'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 4.6% in the same period.

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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for AVON? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Avon Protection Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

With a high three-year median payout ratio of 52% (implying that 48% of the profits are retained), most of Avon Protection'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 4 risks we have identified for Avon Protection.

In addition, Avon Protection has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 45%. Regardless, the future ROE for Avon Protection is predicted to rise to 20% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Summary

On the whole, Avon Protection's performance is quite a big let-down. As a result of its low ROE and lack of much reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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