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Shell plc's (LON:SHEL) Stock's On An Uptrend: Are Strong Financials Guiding The Market?

Shell's (LON:SHEL) stock is up by a considerable 20% over the past three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Specifically, we decided to study Shell's ROE in this article.

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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

View our latest analysis for Shell

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Shell is:

10% = US$20b ÷ US$188b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.10 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Shell's Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

To start with, Shell's ROE looks acceptable. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 13%. However, we are pleased to see the impressive 23% net income growth reported by Shell over the past five years. We believe that there might be 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. 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 certainly also provides some context to the high earnings growth seen by the company.

We then performed a comparison between Shell's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 23% in the same 5-year period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is SHEL fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Shell Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Shell's three-year median payout ratio is a pretty moderate 28%, meaning the company retains 72% of its income. By the looks of it, the dividend is well covered and Shell is reinvesting its profits efficiently as evidenced by its exceptional growth which we discussed above.

Additionally, Shell 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. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 35% over the next three years. Still, forecasts suggest that Shell's future ROE will rise to 13% even though the the company's payout ratio is expected to rise. We presume that there could some other characteristics of the business that could be driving the anticipated growth in the company's ROE.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with Shell's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business at a moderate rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. 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 latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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.