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Columbia Sportswear Company's (NASDAQ:COLM) Stock Is Going Strong: Have Financials A Role To Play?

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Columbia Sportswear's (NASDAQ:COLM) stock is up by a considerable 9.8% over the past month. 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 Columbia Sportswear's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Columbia Sportswear

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity 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 Columbia Sportswear is:

7.3% = US$126m ÷ US$1.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.07 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Columbia Sportswear's Earnings Growth And 7.3% ROE

At first glance, Columbia Sportswear'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 13%. Although, we can see that Columbia Sportswear saw a modest net income growth of 8.9% over the past five years. So, the growth in the company's earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Columbia Sportswear's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 2.3% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for COLM? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Columbia Sportswear Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

While the company did pay out a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. We infer that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits to grow its business.

Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 21%. Regardless, the future ROE for Columbia Sportswear is predicted to rise to 17% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Summary

In total, it does look like Columbia Sportswear has some positive aspects to its business. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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@simplywallst.com.