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With its stock down 24% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Silvercorp Metals (TSE:SVM). It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Silvercorp Metals' 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Silvercorp Metals is:
7.7% = US$47m ÷ US$615m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every CA$1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated CA$0.08 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For 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 Silvercorp Metals' Earnings Growth And 7.7% ROE
On the face of it, Silvercorp Metals' ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 13%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 2.5% seen by Silvercorp Metals 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 instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.
So, as a next step, we compared Silvercorp Metals' 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 25% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. What is SVM worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SVM is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Silvercorp Metals Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Silvercorp Metals' low three-year median payout ratio of 11% (implying that it retains the remaining 89% of its profits) comes as a surprise when you pair it with the shrinking earnings. This typically shouldn't be the case when a company is retaining most of its earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For instance, the business has faced some headwinds.
In addition, Silvercorp Metals has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 14% over the next three years. Regardless, the ROE is not expected to change much for the company despite the higher expected payout ratio.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about Silvercorp Metals. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its 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 latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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.