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Are Innospec Inc.'s (NASDAQ:IOSP) Mixed Financials Driving The Negative Sentiment?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Innospec's (NASDAQ:IOSP) recent performance, when its stock has declined 7.7% over the past three months. It is possible that the markets have ignored the company's differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. In this article, we decided to focus on Innospec's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Innospec

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 Innospec is:

8.3% = US$81m ÷ US$974m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.08.

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 everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

A Side By Side comparison of Innospec's Earnings Growth And 8.3% ROE

When you first look at it, Innospec's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 14%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 8.8% seen by Innospec 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.

So, as a next step, we compared Innospec's performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 3.2% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is Innospec fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Innospec Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 32% (where it is retaining 68% of its profits), Innospec 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.

In addition, Innospec has been paying dividends over a period of eight years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is preferred by the management even though earnings have been in decline.

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Innospec's performance. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. 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. 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. 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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