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Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Rotork plc (LON:ROR)?

Rotork (LON:ROR) has had a rough three months with its share price down 7.7%. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. In this article, we decided to focus on Rotork's ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for Rotork

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

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So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Rotork is:

18% = UK£105m ÷ UK£573m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2023).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.18.

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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

A Side By Side comparison of Rotork's Earnings Growth And 18% ROE

To begin with, Rotork seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 15%. Yet, Rotork has posted measly growth of 2.2% over the past five years. This is generally not the case as when a company has a high rate of return it should usually also have a high earnings growth rate. A few likely reasons why this could happen is that the company could have a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

We then compared Rotork's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 8.3% in the same 5-year period, which is a bit concerning.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. Is ROR fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Rotork Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

The high three-year median payout ratio of 69% (that is, the company retains only 31% of its income) over the past three years for Rotork suggests that the company's earnings growth was lower as a result of paying out a majority of its earnings.

Moreover, Rotork 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 47% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Rotork 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. 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.

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.