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Barratt Developments plc's (LON:BDEV) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

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Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) has had a rough three months with its share price down 24%. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. In this article, we decided to focus on Barratt Developments' 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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Barratt Developments

How Do You 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 Barratt Developments is:

12% = UK£662m ÷ UK£5.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.12 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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 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.

Barratt Developments' Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To begin with, Barratt Developments seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 11% the company's ROE looks quite decent. For this reason, Barratt Developments' five year net income decline of 2.3% raises the question as to why the decent ROE didn't translate into growth. So, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

As a next step, we compared Barratt Developments' performance with the industry and discovered the industry has shrunk at a rate of 7.8% in the same period meaning that the company has been shrinking its earnings at a rate lower than the industry. While this is not particularly good, its not particularly bad either.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is Barratt Developments fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Barratt Developments Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

In spite of a normal three-year median payout ratio of 37% (that is, a retention ratio of 63%), the fact that Barratt Developments' earnings have shrunk is quite puzzling. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Additionally, Barratt Developments has paid dividends over a period of nine years, which means that the company's management is rather focused on keeping up its dividend payments, regardless of the shrinking earnings. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 61% over the next three years. Regardless, the ROE is not expected to change much for the company despite the higher expected payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like Barratt Developments has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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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