It is hard to get excited after looking at Worley's (ASX:WOR) recent performance, when its stock has declined 2.5% over the past week. We decided to study the company's financials to determine if the downtrend will continue as the long-term performance of a company usually dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Worley'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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
View our latest analysis for Worley
How Do You 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 Worley is:
3.1% = AU$177m ÷ AU$5.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every A$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A$0.03 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.
Worley's Earnings Growth And 3.1% ROE
It is quite clear that Worley's ROE is rather low. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 8.6%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. However, the moderate 16% net income growth seen by Worley over the past five years is definitely a positive. We believe that 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 Worley's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 36% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. What is WOR worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether WOR is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Worley Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Worley's high three-year median payout ratio of 168% suggests that the company is paying out more to its shareholders than what it is making. However, this hasn't really hampered its ability to grow as we saw earlier. It would still be worth keeping an eye on that high payout ratio, if for some reason the company runs into problems and business deteriorates.
Moreover, Worley 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. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 68% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 7.9%, over the same period.
In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Worley. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty respectable, its ROE and earnings retention is quite poor. So while the company has managed to grow its earnings in spite of this, we are unconvinced if this growth could extend, specially during troubled times. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company's earnings growth is expected be similar to its current growth rate. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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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