Most readers would already be aware that Knorr-Bremse's (ETR:KBX) stock increased significantly by 17% over the past month. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. In this article, we decided to focus on Knorr-Bremse's ROE.
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.
See our latest analysis for Knorr-Bremse
How Is ROE Calculated?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Knorr-Bremse is:
21% = €536m ÷ €2.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every €1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn €0.21 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.
Knorr-Bremse's Earnings Growth And 21% ROE
To begin with, Knorr-Bremse has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 12% the company's ROE is quite impressive. However, we are curious as to how the high returns still resulted in a flat growth for Knorr-Bremse in the past five years. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that's limiting the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Knorr-Bremse's earnings seems to be shrinking at a similar rate as the industry which shrunk at a rate of a rate of 1.9% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is KBX worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether KBX is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Knorr-Bremse Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Knorr-Bremse has a high three-year median payout ratio of 50% (or a retention ratio of 50%), meaning that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This does go some way in explaining why there's been no growth in its earnings.
In addition, Knorr-Bremse has been paying dividends over a period of four years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 48%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Knorr-Bremse's future ROE will be 20% which is again, similar to the current ROE.
Overall, we feel that Knorr-Bremse certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return. Investors could have benefitted from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. As discussed earlier, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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.
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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.
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