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Most readers would already be aware that Activision Blizzard's (NASDAQ:ATVI) stock increased significantly by 23% over the past three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Activision Blizzard's ROE today.
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.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Activision Blizzard is:
12% = US$1.6b ÷ US$13b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2020).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.12 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 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.
Activision Blizzard's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE
To begin with, Activision Blizzard seems to have a respectable ROE. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 18%. Activision Blizzard was still able to see a decent net income growth of 14% over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this also does lend some color to the fairly high earnings growth seen by the company.
We then compared Activision Blizzard's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 35% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. 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 Activision Blizzard is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Activision Blizzard Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Activision Blizzard has a low three-year median payout ratio of 20%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 80% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.
Moreover, Activision Blizzard 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 13% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 15% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.
On the whole, we do feel that Activision Blizzard has some positive attributes. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a moderate rate of return, that has resulted in a respectable growth in its earnings. On studying current analyst estimates, we found that analysts expect the company to continue its recent growth streak. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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