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Forbo Holding AG's (VTX:FORN) Stock On An Uptrend: Could Fundamentals Be Driving The Momentum?

Forbo Holding's (VTX:FORN) stock is up by a considerable 12% over the past month. 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 Forbo Holding's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for Forbo Holding

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Forbo Holding is:

18% = CHF102m ÷ CHF554m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every CHF1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn CHF0.18 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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. 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.

Forbo Holding's Earnings Growth And 18% ROE

To start with, Forbo Holding's ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 17%. For this reason, Forbo Holding's five year net income decline of 5.3% raises the question as to why the decent ROE didn't translate into growth. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

As a next step, we compared Forbo Holding's performance with the industry and found thatForbo Holding's performance is depressing even when compared with the industry, which has shrunk its earnings at a rate of 1.4% in the same period, which is a slower than the company.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for FORN? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Forbo Holding Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Looking at its three-year median payout ratio of 30% (or a retention ratio of 70%) which is pretty normal, Forbo Holding's declining earnings is rather baffling as one would expect to see a fair bit of growth when a company is retaining a good portion of its profits. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

In addition, Forbo Holding has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 30% of its profits over the next three years. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Forbo Holding's future ROE will be 18% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Forbo Holding certainly does have some positive factors to consider. 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. 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.