Retail Food Group's (ASX:RFG) stock is up by a considerable 46% over the past three months. However, we wonder if the company's inconsistent financials would have any adverse impact on the current share price momentum. Specifically, we decided to study Retail Food Group's 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.
How To 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 Retail Food Group is:
8.1% = AU$14m ÷ AU$176m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every A$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of A$0.08.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.
Retail Food Group's Earnings Growth And 8.1% ROE
When you first look at it, Retail Food Group's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Yet, a closer study shows that the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 8.7%. But then again, Retail Food Group's five year net income shrunk at a rate of 38%. Remember, the company's ROE is a bit low to begin with. Hence, this goes some way in explaining the shrinking earnings.
So, as a next step, we compared Retail Food Group'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 13% in the same period.
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. 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 Retail Food Group is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Retail Food Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
While the company did payout a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. This implies that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business.
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Retail Food Group's performance. 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. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. You can see the 3 risks we have identified for Retail Food Group by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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