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Treasury Wine Estates (ASX:TWE) has had a rough week with its share price down 2.5%. It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. In this article, we decided to focus on Treasury Wine Estates' ROE.
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.
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 Treasury Wine Estates is:
6.6% = AU$241m ÷ AU$3.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every A$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of A$0.07.
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. 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.
Treasury Wine Estates' Earnings Growth And 6.6% ROE
When you first look at it, Treasury Wine Estates' ROE doesn't look that attractive. However, the fact that the its ROE is quite higher to the industry average of 5.3% doesn't go unnoticed by us. However, Treasury Wine Estates' five year net income decline rate was 5.7%. Remember, the company's ROE is a bit low to begin with, just that it is higher than the industry average. Therefore, the decline in earnings could also be the result of this.
So, as a next step, we compared Treasury Wine Estates' performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 19% in the same period.
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). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. 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 Treasury Wine Estates is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Treasury Wine Estates Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 81% (implying that 19% of the profits are retained), most of Treasury Wine Estates' profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. With only a little being reinvested into the business, earnings growth would obviously be low or non-existent.
Moreover, Treasury Wine Estates 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 66% of its profits over the next three years. Still, forecasts suggest that Treasury Wine Estates' future ROE will rise to 13% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Treasury Wine Estates can be open to many interpretations. Primarily, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a moderate ROE. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which explains the lack of 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. 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.
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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.