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Is Cognex Corporation's (NASDAQ:CGNX) Stock's Recent Performance A Reflection Of Its Financial Health?

Simply Wall St

Most readers would already know that Cognex's (NASDAQ:CGNX) stock increased by 9.0% over the past three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term financial health, we decided to study the company’s fundamentals to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Cognex's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for Cognex

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Cognex is:

10% = US$141m ÷ US$1.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.10 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. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

Cognex's Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

To begin with, Cognex seems to have a respectable ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 10%. Consequently, this likely laid the ground for the decent growth of 10.0% seen over the past five years by Cognex.

We then performed a comparison between Cognex's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 10.0% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. 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 Cognex is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Cognex Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Cognex has a low three-year median payout ratio of 17%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 83% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.

Moreover, Cognex 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. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 17%. Regardless, the future ROE for Cognex is predicted to rise to 13% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with Cognex's 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. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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.

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