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Pets at Home Group Plc's (LON:PETS) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

·4-min read

It is hard to get excited after looking at at Home Group's (LON:PETS) recent performance, when its stock has declined 29% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study at Home Group's ROE in this article.

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 at Home Group

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 at Home Group is:

12% = UK£125m ÷ UK£1.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2021).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.12 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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.

at Home Group's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

At first glance, at Home Group seems to have a decent ROE. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 21%. However, the moderate 9.0% net income growth seen by at Home Group over the past five years is definitely a positive. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place. However, not to forget, the company does have a decent ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. So this also provides some context to the earnings growth seen by the company.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that at Home Group's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 0.03% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for PETS? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is at Home Group Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

The high three-year median payout ratio of 56% (or a retention ratio of 44%) for at Home Group suggests that the company's growth wasn't really hampered despite it returning most of its income to its shareholders.

Moreover, at Home Group is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of seven years of paying a dividend. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 51%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that at Home Group's future ROE will be 12% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like at Home Group has some positive aspects to its business. Specifically, its respectable ROE which likely led to the considerable growth in earnings. Yet, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Which means that the company has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's not too bad. The latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to maintain its current growth rate. 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.

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