Serco Group plc's (LON:SRP) Stock Is Going Strong: Is the Market Following Fundamentals?




  • In Business
  • 2022-08-10 05:12:22Z
  • By Simply Wall St.
 

Serco Group's (LON:SRP) stock is up by a considerable 16% over the past three months. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. Specifically, we decided to study Serco Group's ROE in this article.

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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Serco Group

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 Serco Group is:

15% = UK£160m ÷ UK£1.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.15 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. 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 all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

A Side By Side comparison of Serco Group's Earnings Growth And 15% ROE

To start with, Serco Group's ROE looks acceptable. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 11% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. This probably laid the ground for Serco Group's significant 55% net income growth seen over the past five years. However, there could also be other causes behind this growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

When you consider the fact that the industry earnings have shrunk at a rate of 4.5% in the same period, the company's net income growth is pretty remarkable.

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. What is SRP worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SRP is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Serco Group Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Serco Group's three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 12%, which is quite low. This implies that the company is retaining 88% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.

Moreover, Serco Group 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. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 29% over the next three years. Regardless, the ROE is not expected to change much for the company despite the higher expected payout ratio.

Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Serco Group's performance. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a sizeable growth in its earnings. 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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