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Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s (TSE:CPH) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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Cipher Pharmaceuticals (TSE:CPH) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 55% over the last month. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. In this article, we decided to focus on Cipher Pharmaceuticals' ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Cipher Pharmaceuticals

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 Cipher Pharmaceuticals is:

13% = US$4.4m ÷ US$33m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every CA$1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated CA$0.13 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. 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.

Cipher Pharmaceuticals' Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

At first glance, Cipher Pharmaceuticals seems to have a decent ROE. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 6.5% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. Given the circumstances, we can't help but wonder why Cipher Pharmaceuticals saw little to no growth in the past five years. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Cipher Pharmaceuticals' reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 3.4% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. 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 Cipher Pharmaceuticals is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Cipher Pharmaceuticals Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that Cipher Pharmaceuticals has some positive attributes. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.