Capitol Health Limited's (ASX:CAJ) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

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Capitol Health (ASX:CAJ) has had a rough three months with its share price down 17%. However, the company’s fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Capitol Health’s ROE today.

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.

View our latest analysis for Capitol Health

How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE 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 Capitol Health is:

9.0% = AU$14m ÷ AU$154m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The ‘return’ is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every A$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A$0.09 in profit.

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. 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. 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.

Capitol Health’s Earnings Growth And 9.0% ROE

At first glance, Capitol Health’s ROE doesn’t look very promising. However, given that the company’s ROE is similar to the average industry ROE of 8.2%, we may spare it some thought. Looking at Capitol Health’s exceptional 33% five-year net income growth in particular, we are definitely impressed. Considering the moderately low ROE, it is quite possible that there might be some other aspects that are positively influencing the company’s earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

Given that the industry shrunk its earnings at a rate of 0.1% in the same period, the net income growth of the company is quite impressive.

past-earnings-growth

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). Doing so will help them establish if the stock’s future looks promising or ominous. 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 Capitol Health is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Capitol Health Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Capitol Health has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 83%, meaning the company only retains 17% of its income. This implies that the company has been able to achieve high earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Additionally, Capitol Health has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 64% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company’s ROE is not expected to change by much.

Summary

In total, it does look like Capitol Health has some positive aspects to its business. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty substantial, we do feel that the reinvestment rate is pretty low, meaning, the earnings growth number could have been significantly higher had the company been retaining more of its profits. Having said that, the company’s earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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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