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Kingfisher plc's (LON:KGF) Has Been On A Rise But Financial Prospects Look Weak: Is The Stock Overpriced?

Simply Wall St
·4-min read

Kingfisher (LON:KGF) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 29% over the last three months. We, however wanted to have a closer look at its key financial indicators as the markets usually pay for long-term fundamentals, and in this case, they don't look very promising. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Kingfisher'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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Kingfisher

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Kingfisher is:

2.4% = UK£154m ÷ UK£6.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.02 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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. 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.

Kingfisher's Earnings Growth And 2.4% ROE

It is quite clear that Kingfisher's ROE is rather low. Even when compared to the industry average of 10%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 29% seen by Kingfisher over the last five years is not surprising. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

Furthermore, even when compared to the industry, which has been shrinking its earnings at a rate 1.0% in the same period, we found that Kingfisher's performance is pretty disappointing, as it suggests that the company has been shrunk its earnings at a rate faster than the industry.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Kingfisher is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Kingfisher Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

While the company did payout a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. This implies that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business.

Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 46% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 7.4%, over the same period.

Summary

Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Kingfisher. Because the company is not reinvesting much into the business, and given the low ROE, it's not surprising to see the lack or absence of growth in its earnings. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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@simplywallst.com.