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Blackmores Limited's (ASX:BKL) Stock Going Strong But Fundamentals Look Weak: What Implications Could This Have On The Stock?

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Most readers would already be aware that Blackmores' (ASX:BKL) stock increased significantly by 29% over the past three months. However, in this article, we decided to focus on its weak fundamentals, as long-term financial performance of a business is what ultimatley dictates market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Blackmores' ROE in this article.

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.

See our latest analysis for Blackmores

How To 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 Blackmores is:

7.6% = AU$29m ÷ AU$379m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.08 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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.

Blackmores' Earnings Growth And 7.6% ROE

At first glance, Blackmores' ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 13% either. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 31% seen by Blackmores over the last five years is not surprising. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

Next, when we compared with the industry, which has shrunk its earnings at a rate of 11% in the same period, we still found Blackmores' performance to be quite bleak, because the company has been shrinking its earnings faster than the industry.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for BKL? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Blackmores Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Blackmores has a high three-year median payout ratio of 60% (that is, it is retaining 40% of its profits). This suggests that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This goes some way in explaining why its earnings have been shrinking. With only very little left to reinvest into the business, growth in earnings is far from likely.

In addition, Blackmores 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 52% of its profits over the next three years. However, Blackmores' ROE is predicted to rise to 17% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.

Summary

In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Blackmores. The company has seen a lack of earnings growth as a result of retaining very little profits and whatever little it does retain, is being reinvested at a very low rate of return. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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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