CECO Environmental (NASDAQ:CECE) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 23% over the last three months. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to CECO Environmental's ROE today.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for CECO Environmental is:
8.5% = US$17m ÷ US$199m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.09 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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 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.
A Side By Side comparison of CECO Environmental's Earnings Growth And 8.5% ROE
At first glance, CECO Environmental's ROE doesn't look very promising. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 12%. In spite of this, CECO Environmental was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 26% in the last five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.
As a next step, we compared CECO Environmental's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 17%.
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). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. 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 CECO Environmental is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is CECO Environmental Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
While the company did pay out a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. This is likely what's driving the high earnings growth number discussed above.
On the whole, we do feel that CECO Environmental has some positive attributes. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. On studying current analyst estimates, we found that analysts expect the company to continue its recent growth streak. 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.
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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