With its stock down 1.7% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd (TPE:2501). Given that stock prices are usually driven by a company’s fundamentals over the long term, which in this case look pretty weak, we decided to study the company’s key financial indicators. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd’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. Put another way, it reveals the company’s success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
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 Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd is:
5.5% = NT$1.3b ÷ NT$24b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The ‘return’ refers to a company’s earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every NT$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn NT$0.06 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. 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. 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.
Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd’s Earnings Growth And 5.5% ROE
When you first look at it, Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd’s ROE doesn’t look that attractive. A quick further study shows that the company’s ROE doesn’t compare favorably to the industry average of 7.9% either. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 10% seen by Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.
That being said, we compared Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd’s performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 3.8% in the same period.
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. 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 Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd’s declining earnings is not surprising given how the company is spending most of its profits in paying dividends, judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 88% (or a retention ratio of 12%). 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 3 risks we have identified for Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd.
In addition, Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd 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.
On the whole, Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd’s performance is quite a big let-down. As a result of its low ROE and lack of mich reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. Up till now, we’ve only made a short study of the company’s growth data. You can do your own research on Cathay Real Estate DevelopmentLtd and see how it has performed in the past by looking at this FREE detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.
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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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