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DFS Furniture (LON:DFS) has had a rough three months with its share price down 29%. We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Particularly, we will be paying attention to DFS Furniture'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.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
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 DFS Furniture is:
17% = UK£49m ÷ UK£281m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.17 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 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 DFS Furniture's Earnings Growth And 17% ROE
To begin with, DFS Furniture seems to have a respectable ROE. Especially when compared to the industry average of 11% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that DFS Furniture's net income shrunk at a rate of 7.3% over the past five years. 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. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.
From the 7.8% decline reported by the industry in the same period, we infer that DFS Furniture and its industry are both shrinking at a similar rate.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for DFS? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is DFS Furniture Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 95% (implying that 5.1% of the profits are retained), most of DFS Furniture's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run. To know the 2 risks we have identified for DFS Furniture visit our risks dashboard for free.
Moreover, DFS Furniture has been paying dividends for seven years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer consistent dividends even though earnings have been shrinking. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 42% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about DFS Furniture. Despite the high ROE, the company has a disappointing earnings growth number, due to its poor rate of reinvestment into its business. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page 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.