Advertisement
New Zealand markets close in 4 hours 17 minutes
  • NZX 50

    11,739.49
    -43.90 (-0.37%)
     
  • NZD/USD

    0.6123
    0.0000 (-0.00%)
     
  • NZD/EUR

    0.5642
    +0.0004 (+0.07%)
     
  • ALL ORDS

    8,047.10
    +47.90 (+0.60%)
     
  • ASX 200

    7,775.70
    +48.10 (+0.62%)
     
  • OIL

    77.87
    +0.15 (+0.19%)
     
  • GOLD

    2,337.90
    +3.40 (+0.15%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    18,808.35
    +184.95 (+0.99%)
     
  • FTSE

    8,317.59
    -21.64 (-0.26%)
     
  • Dow Jones

    39,069.59
    +4.29 (+0.01%)
     
  • DAX

    18,693.37
    +2.07 (+0.01%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    18,608.94
    -259.76 (-1.38%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    38,754.46
    +108.35 (+0.28%)
     
  • NZD/JPY

    96.0190
    -0.0670 (-0.07%)
     

The a2 Milk Company Limited's (NZSE:ATM) Stock On An Uptrend: Could Fundamentals Be Driving The Momentum?

a2 Milk (NZSE:ATM) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 48% over the last three months. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on a2 Milk'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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for a2 Milk

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

ADVERTISEMENT

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for a2 Milk is:

13% = NZ$155m ÷ NZ$1.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every NZ$1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated NZ$0.13 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of a2 Milk's Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

At first glance, a2 Milk seems to have a decent ROE. Especially when compared to the industry average of 10% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. As you might expect, the 23% net income decline reported by a2 Milk is a bit of a surprise. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

As a next step, we compared a2 Milk's performance with the industry and found thata2 Milk's performance is depressing even when compared with the industry, which has shrunk its earnings at a rate of 3.7% in the same period, which is a slower than the company.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is a2 Milk fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is a2 Milk Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Because a2 Milk doesn't pay any dividends, we infer that it is retaining all of its profits, which is rather perplexing when you consider the fact that there is no earnings growth to show for it. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Conclusion

On the whole, we do feel that a2 Milk has some positive attributes. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. 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. 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.

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.