# Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX:Z74) Stock's Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Decent: Will The Market Correct The Share Price In The Future?

Simply Wall St ·  Apr 9 01:21

It is hard to get excited after looking at Singapore Telecommunications' (SGX:Z74) recent performance, when its stock has declined 5.1% over the past week. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company's financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Specifically, we decided to study Singapore Telecommunications' 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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

## How To Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Singapore Telecommunications is:

12% = S\$3.1b ÷ S\$27b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every SGD1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated SGD0.12 in profit.

## Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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.

## Singapore Telecommunications' Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To start with, Singapore Telecommunications' ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 12%. Despite the moderate return on equity, Singapore Telecommunications has posted a net income growth of 4.8% over the past five years. So, there could be some other factors at play that could be impacting the company's growth. For instance, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

As a next step, we compared Singapore Telecommunications' net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 13% in the same period.

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about Singapore Telecommunications''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

## Is Singapore Telecommunications Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Singapore Telecommunications has a three-year median payout ratio of 73% (implying that it keeps only 27% of its profits), meaning that it pays out most of its profits to shareholders as dividends, and as a result, the company has seen low earnings growth.

In addition, Singapore Telecommunications 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 81% of its profits over the next three years. As a result, Singapore Telecommunications' ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 9.6% for future ROE.

## Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Singapore Telecommunications 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. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which means that investors aren't reaping the benefits of the high rate of return. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected to shrink in the future. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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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.

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