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Assura Plc's (LON:AGR) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Assura's (LON:AGR) recent performance, when its stock has declined 6.6% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. In this article, we decided to focus on Assura's ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Assura

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 Assura is:

5.8% = UK£86m ÷ UK£1.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.06.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

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

Assura's Earnings Growth And 5.8% ROE

On the face of it, Assura's ROE is not much to talk about. However, given that the company's ROE is similar to the average industry ROE of 5.7%, we may spare it some thought. Even so, Assura has shown a fairly decent growth in its net income which grew at a rate of 10%. Given the slightly low ROE, it is likely that there could be some other aspects that are driving this growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

Next, on comparing Assura's net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 10% in the same period.

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). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for AGR? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Assura Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Assura seems to be paying out most of its income as dividends judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 75%, meaning the company retains only 25% of its income. However, this is typical for REITs as they are often required by law to distribute most of their earnings. Despite this, the company's earnings grew moderately as we saw above.

Besides, Assura has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 96% over the next three years. Regardless, the ROE is not expected to change much for the company despite the higher expected payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like Assura has some positive aspects to its business. 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. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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