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IGO Limited's (ASX:IGO) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

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IGO's (ASX:IGO) stock is up by a considerable 18% over the past three months. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to IGO's ROE today.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for IGO

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 IGO is:

3.6% = AU$117m ÷ AU$3.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

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

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.

IGO's Earnings Growth And 3.6% ROE

As you can see, IGO's ROE looks pretty weak. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 13%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. In spite of this, IGO was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 45% in the last five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that IGO's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 24% in the same period, which is great to see.

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. What is IGO worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether IGO is currently mispriced by the market.

Is IGO Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

IGO has a three-year median payout ratio of 48% (where it is retaining 52% of its income) which is not too low or not too high. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the high growth we discussed above, it looks like IGO is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

Besides, IGO has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 47%. However, IGO's ROE is predicted to rise to 13% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we feel that IGO certainly does have some positive factors to consider. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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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