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The Hour Glass Limited's (SGX:AGS) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

Hour Glass (SGX:AGS) has had a rough three months with its share price down 7.9%. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Hour Glass' ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Hour Glass

How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE can be calculated by using the formula:

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

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So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Hour Glass is:

21% = S$167m ÷ S$811m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each SGD1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made SGD0.21 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. 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 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.

Hour Glass' Earnings Growth And 21% ROE

To begin with, Hour Glass seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 9.2%. This certainly adds some context to Hour Glass' exceptional 24% net income growth seen over the past five years. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

Next, on comparing Hour Glass' net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 21% over the last few years.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is AGS worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether AGS is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Hour Glass Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Hour Glass' three-year median payout ratio is a pretty moderate 36%, meaning the company retains 64% of its income. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the high growth we discussed above, it looks like Hour Glass is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

Moreover, Hour Glass is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with Hour Glass' performance. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Remember, the price of a stock is also dependent on the perceived risk. Therefore investors must keep themselves informed about the risks involved before investing in any company. Our risks dashboard will have the 1 risk we have identified for Hour Glass.

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.