Fresnillo plc's (LON:FRES) Financial Prospects Don't Look Very Positive: Could It Mean A Stock Price Drop In The Future?




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-29 11:01:39Z
  • By Simply Wall St.
 

Fresnillo's (LON:FRES) stock up by 2.8% over the past month. Given that the markets usually pay for the long-term financial health of a company, we wonder if the current momentum in the share price will keep up, given that the company's financials don't look very promising. In this article, we decided to focus on Fresnillo's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Fresnillo

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 Fresnillo is:

7.2% = US$271m ÷ US$3.8b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.07 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. 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 Fresnillo's Earnings Growth And 7.2% ROE

At first glance, Fresnillo's ROE doesn't look very promising. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 16%. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 7.2% seen by Fresnillo 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. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

So, as a next step, we compared Fresnillo'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 19% in the same period.

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It's important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. What is FRES worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FRES is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Fresnillo Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Fresnillo has a high three-year median payout ratio of 53% (that is, it is retaining 47% of its profits). This suggests that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This goes some way in explaining why its earnings have been shrinking. The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run. Our risks dashboard should have the 2 risks we have identified for Fresnillo.

In addition, Fresnillo 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 52% of its profits over the next three years. Regardless, the future ROE for Fresnillo is predicted to rise to 9.0% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Fresnillo. Because the company is not reinvesting much into the business, and given the low ROE, it's not surprising to see the lack or absence of growth in its earnings. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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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