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

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Most readers would already be aware that OZ Minerals' (ASX:OZL) stock increased significantly by 34% 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. Specifically, we decided to study OZ Minerals' ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for OZ Minerals

How To 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 OZ Minerals is:

6.6% = AU$213m ÷ AU$3.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.07 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of OZ Minerals' Earnings Growth And 6.6% ROE

When you first look at it, OZ Minerals' ROE doesn't look that attractive. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 15%. However, the moderate 9.2% net income growth seen by OZ Minerals over the past five years is definitely a positive. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that OZ Minerals' reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 28% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. If you're wondering about OZ Minerals''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is OZ Minerals Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

OZ Minerals has a three-year median payout ratio of 38%, which implies that it retains the remaining 62% of its profits. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the decent growth seen by the company, it looks like management is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

Besides, OZ Minerals has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 24% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 11%, over the same period.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like OZ Minerals has some positive aspects to its business. Namely, its respectable earnings growth, which it achieved due to it retaining most of its profits. However, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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.

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 (at) simplywallst.com.

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