Alliance Pharma plc's (LON:APH) On An Uptrend But Financial Prospects Look Pretty Weak: Is The Stock Overpriced?
Alliance Pharma's (LON:APH) stock is up by a considerable 12% over the past month. However, we decided to pay close attention to its weak financials as we are doubtful that the current momentum will keep up, given the scenario. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Alliance Pharma'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.
View our latest analysis for Alliance Pharma
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 Alliance Pharma is:
4.1% = UK£12m ÷ UK£297m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.04 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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 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.
Alliance Pharma's Earnings Growth And 4.1% ROE
At first glance, Alliance Pharma'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 7.3%. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 20% seen by Alliance Pharma over the last five years is not surprising. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
However, when we compared Alliance Pharma's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 4.0% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is APH fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Alliance Pharma Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Alliance Pharma has a high three-year median payout ratio of 59% (that is, it is retaining 41% 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 4 risks we have identified for Alliance Pharma.
Additionally, Alliance Pharma has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 30% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Alliance Pharma's payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 10%, over the same period.
Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Alliance Pharma. As a result of its low ROE and lack of much reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. 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.
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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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