It is hard to get excited after looking at Tesco's (LON:TSCO) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.8% over the past week. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Tesco's 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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 Tesco is:
7.1% = UK£935m ÷ UK£13b (Based on the trailing twelve months to February 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.07 in profit.
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. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. 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.
Tesco's Earnings Growth And 7.1% ROE
When you first look at it, Tesco's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 9.8%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. In spite of this, Tesco was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 81% in the last five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. 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.
We then compared Tesco's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 14% 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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for TSCO? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Tesco Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Tesco's three-year median payout ratio is a pretty moderate 36%, meaning the company retains 64% of its income. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the high growth we discussed above, it looks like Tesco is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.
Moreover, Tesco is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 53% over the next three years. Still, forecasts suggest that Tesco's future ROE will rise to 9.4% even though the the company's payout ratio is expected to rise. We presume that there could some other characteristics of the business that could be driving the anticipated growth in the company's ROE.
Overall, we feel that Tesco certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.
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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