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Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Mulberry Group plc (LON:MUL)?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Mulberry Group's (LON:MUL) recent performance, when its stock has declined 22% 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. Specifically, we decided to study Mulberry Group's ROE in this article.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Mulberry Group

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity 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 Mulberry Group is:

25% = UK£4.6m ÷ UK£19m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.25 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. 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.

Mulberry Group's Earnings Growth And 25% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that Mulberry Group has a significantly high ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 24% the company's ROE is pretty decent. As you might expect, the 63% net income decline reported by Mulberry Group is a bit of a surprise. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

Next, when we compared with the industry, which has shrunk its earnings at a rate of 8.3% in the same period, we still found Mulberry Group's performance to be quite bleak, because the company has been shrinking its earnings faster than the industry.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is Mulberry Group fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Mulberry Group Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Because Mulberry Group doesn't pay any dividends, we infer that it is retaining all of its profits, which is rather perplexing when you consider the fact that there is no earnings growth to show for it. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Summary

In total, it does look like Mulberry Group has some positive aspects to its business. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. While we won't completely dismiss the company, what we would do, is try to ascertain how risky the business is to make a more informed decision around the company. To know the 2 risks we have identified for Mulberry Group visit our risks dashboard for free.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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