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Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Limited's (ASX:SXE) Has Had A Decent Run On The Stock market: Are Fundamentals In The Driver's Seat?

Most readers would already know that Southern Cross Electrical Engineering's (ASX:SXE) stock increased by 3.9% over the past three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to investigate if the company's decent financials had a hand to play in the recent price move. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Southern Cross Electrical Engineering's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Southern Cross Electrical Engineering

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 Southern Cross Electrical Engineering is:

8.8% = AU$15m ÷ AU$174m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every A$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A$0.09 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Southern Cross Electrical Engineering's Earnings Growth And 8.8% ROE

When you first look at it, Southern Cross Electrical Engineering's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 14%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that Southern Cross Electrical Engineering grew its net income at a significant rate of 22% in the last five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Southern Cross Electrical Engineering's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 17% 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). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Southern Cross Electrical Engineering's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Southern Cross Electrical Engineering has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 71%, meaning the company only retains 29% of its income. This implies that the company has been able to achieve high earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Moreover, Southern Cross Electrical Engineering is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 71% of its profits over the next three years. Regardless, the future ROE for Southern Cross Electrical Engineering is predicted to rise to 12% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Southern Cross Electrical Engineering certainly does have some positive factors to consider. That is, quite an impressive growth in earnings. However, the low profit retention means that the company's earnings growth could have been higher, had it been reinvesting a higher portion of its profits. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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.

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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