Beiersdorf's (ETR:BEI) stock up by 3.1% over the past three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to investigate if the company's decent financials had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on Beiersdorf's ROE.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
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 Beiersdorf is:
10% = €855m ÷ €8.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2023).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax 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 €0.10 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 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Beiersdorf's Earnings Growth And 10% ROE
At first glance, Beiersdorf seems to have a decent ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 10% the company's ROE looks quite decent. Despite this, Beiersdorf's five year net income growth was quite flat over the past five years. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Beiersdorf's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 8.7% over the last few years, which is not something we like to see.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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 BEI? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Beiersdorf Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Beiersdorf's low three-year median payout ratio of 24% (implying that the company keeps76% of its income) should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth and this should be reflected in its growth number, but that's not the case.
In addition, Beiersdorf 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 is expected to drop to 14% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the lower expected payout ratio.
In total, it does look like Beiersdorf 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. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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.