Computer Programs and Systems' (NASDAQ:CPSI) stock is up by a considerable 20% over the past 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Computer Programs and Systems' ROE.
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.
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 Computer Programs and Systems is:
11% = US$21m ÷ US$191m (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 $0.11 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.
Computer Programs and Systems' Earnings Growth And 11% ROE
To start with, Computer Programs and Systems' ROE looks acceptable. Especially when compared to the industry average of 8.8% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. However, we are curious as to how the high returns still resulted in flat growth for Computer Programs and Systems in the past five years. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that's limiting the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
As a next step, we compared Computer Programs and Systems' net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 23% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is CPSI fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Computer Programs and Systems Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
In spite of a normal three-year median payout ratio of 28% (or a retention ratio of 72%), Computer Programs and Systems hasn't seen much growth in its earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.
Additionally, Computer Programs and Systems has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 50% over the next three years. Still, forecasts suggest that Computer Programs and Systems' future ROE will rise to 16% even though the the company's payout ratio is expected to rise. We presume that there could some other characteristics of the business that could be driving the anticipated growth in the company's ROE.
In total, it does look like Computer Programs and Systems has some positive aspects to its business. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. 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.
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