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Yum China Holdings, Inc.'s (NYSE:YUMC) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Yum China Holdings' (NYSE:YUMC) recent performance, when its stock has declined 11% over the past three months. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Yum China Holdings' ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for Yum China Holdings

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 Yum China Holdings is:

10% = US$708m ÷ US$6.9b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

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 $0.10.

Why Is ROE Important For 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Yum China Holdings' Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

At first glance, Yum China Holdings seems to have a decent ROE. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 16%, we aren't very excited. Although, we can see that Yum China Holdings saw a modest net income growth of 14% over the past five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing earnings growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this also provides some context to the earnings growth seen by the company.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that the growth figure reported by Yum China Holdings compares quite favourably to the industry average, which shows a decline of 2.1% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for YUMC? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Yum China Holdings Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Yum China Holdings has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 26% (or a retention ratio of 74%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.

Moreover, Yum China Holdings is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of four years of paying a dividend. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 37% over the next three years. Regardless, the future ROE for Yum China Holdings is speculated to rise to 18% despite the anticipated increase in the payout ratio. There could probably be other factors that could be driving the future growth in the ROE.

Conclusion

Overall, we are quite pleased with Yum China Holdings' performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business at a moderate rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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.

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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