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Hill & Smith Holdings PLC's (LON:HILS) Stock is Soaring But Financials Seem Inconsistent: Will The Uptrend Continue?

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Most readers would already be aware that Hill & Smith Holdings' (LON:HILS) stock increased significantly by 21% over the past three months. However, we decided to pay attention to the company's fundamentals which don't appear to give a clear sign about the company's financial health. Specifically, we decided to study Hill & Smith Holdings' 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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Hill & Smith Holdings

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Hill & Smith Holdings is:

6.3% = UK£20m ÷ UK£323m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.06 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. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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.

Hill & Smith Holdings' Earnings Growth And 6.3% ROE

On the face of it, Hill & Smith Holdings' ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 18%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 6.1% seen by Hill & Smith Holdings over the last five years is not surprising. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.

However, when we compared Hill & Smith Holdings' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 21% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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 HILS? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Hill & Smith Holdings Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 49% (where it is retaining 51% of its profits), Hill & Smith Holdings has seen a decline in earnings as we saw above. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Hill & Smith Holdings has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 40%. Regardless, the future ROE for Hill & Smith Holdings is predicted to rise to 18% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Conclusion

Overall, we have mixed feelings about Hill & Smith Holdings. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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.

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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