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Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ:SBLK) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financials Look Strong: Should Prospective Shareholders Make The Leap?

·4-min read

Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK) has had a rough three months with its share price down 14%. But if you pay close attention, you might gather that its strong financials could mean that the stock could potentially see an increase in value in the long-term, given how markets usually reward companies with good financial health. In this article, we decided to focus on Star Bulk Carriers' ROE.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. 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 Star Bulk Carriers

How To 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 Star Bulk Carriers is:

42% = US$891m ÷ US$2.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.42.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

Star Bulk Carriers' Earnings Growth And 42% ROE

First thing first, we like that Star Bulk Carriers has an impressive ROE. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 29% the company's ROE is quite impressive. So, the substantial 82% net income growth seen by Star Bulk Carriers over the past five years isn't overly surprising.

As a next step, we compared Star Bulk Carriers' net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate of 70% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Star Bulk Carriers is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Star Bulk Carriers Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Star Bulk Carriers' significant three-year median payout ratio of 63% (where it is retaining only 37% of its income) suggests that the company has been able to achieve a high growth in earnings despite returning most of its income to shareholders.

Additionally, Star Bulk Carriers has paid dividends over a period of three years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 89% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected increase in the payout ratio explains the expected decline in the company's ROE to 30%, over the same period.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Star Bulk Carriers' performance has been quite good. We are particularly impressed by the considerable earnings growth posted by the company, which was likely backed by its high ROE. While the company is paying out most of its earnings as dividends, it has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's probably a good sign. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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

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.

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