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Are HRL Holdings Limited's (ASX:HRL) Mixed Financials Driving The Negative Sentiment?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at HRL Holdings' (ASX:HRL) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.0% over the past month. It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. In this article, we decided to focus on HRL Holdings' ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for HRL Holdings

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 HRL Holdings is:

4.8% = AU$1.3m ÷ AU$27m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.05 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

HRL Holdings' Earnings Growth And 4.8% ROE

On the face of it, HRL Holdings' ROE is not much to talk about. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 8.0% either. For this reason, HRL Holdings' five year net income decline of 15% is not surprising given its lower ROE. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.

That being said, we compared HRL Holdings' performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 3.7% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about HRL Holdings''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is HRL Holdings Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about HRL Holdings' performance. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. 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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