With its stock down 7.8% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Constellation Energy (NASDAQ:CEG). We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. In this article, we decided to focus on Constellation Energy's ROE.
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?
Return on equity 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 Constellation Energy is:
6.9% = US$797m ÷ US$12b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.07 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. 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. 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.
Constellation Energy's Earnings Growth And 6.9% ROE
On the face of it, Constellation Energy's ROE is not much to talk about. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 9.2% either. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 34% seen by Constellation Energy was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
So, as a next step, we compared Constellation Energy's performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 5.9% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). 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 Constellation Energy is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Constellation Energy Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Constellation Energy's low three-year median payout ratio of 6.6% (or a retention ratio of 93%) over the last three years should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth but the company's earnings have actually shrunk. The low payout should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings and consequently, should see some growth. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.
Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 15% over the next three years. Still, forecasts suggest that Constellation Energy's future ROE will rise to 11% 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.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Constellation Energy can be open to many interpretations. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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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.