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Morgan Advanced Materials plc's (LON:MGAM) Stock On An Uptrend: Could Fundamentals Be Driving The Momentum?

Most readers would already be aware that Morgan Advanced Materials' (LON:MGAM) stock increased significantly by 8.3% over the past month. 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. Specifically, we decided to study Morgan Advanced Materials' ROE in this article.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. 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 Morgan Advanced Materials

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

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

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So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Morgan Advanced Materials is:

22% = UK£96m ÷ UK£430m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.22 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

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

Morgan Advanced Materials' Earnings Growth And 22% ROE

To begin with, Morgan Advanced Materials has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 14% the company's ROE is quite impressive. As you might expect, the 7.7% net income decline reported by Morgan Advanced Materials doesn't bode well with us. So, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

That being said, we compared Morgan Advanced Materials' 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 7.0% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is MGAM fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Morgan Advanced Materials Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

In spite of a normal three-year median payout ratio of 39% (that is, a retention ratio of 61%), the fact that Morgan Advanced Materials' earnings have shrunk is quite puzzling. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Moreover, Morgan Advanced Materials has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 34%. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 20%.

Conclusion

On the whole, we do feel that Morgan Advanced Materials has some positive attributes. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. 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. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page 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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