CRH plc's (LON:CRH) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

view original post

With its stock down 5.7% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard CRH (LON:CRH). However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. In this article, we decided to focus on CRH’s 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for CRH

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders’ Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for CRH is:

13% = US$2.6b ÷ US$21b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The ‘return’ is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders’ equity, the company generated £0.13 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don’t necessarily bear these characteristics.

A Side By Side comparison of CRH’s Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

To begin with, CRH seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company’s ROE is similar to the industry average of 13%. Despite the moderate return on equity, CRH has posted a net income growth of 2.2% over the past five years. So, there could be some other factors at play that could be impacting the company’s growth. For instance, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

We then compared CRH’s net income growth with the industry and found that the company’s growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 5.6% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you’re wondering about CRH’s’s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is CRH Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

While CRH has a decent three-year median payout ratio of 46% (or a retention ratio of 54%), it has seen very little growth in earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Moreover, CRH has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 35% over the next three years. Regardless, the ROE is not expected to change much for the company despite the lower expected payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we feel that CRH certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that’s preventing growth. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company’s earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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.

Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here