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Comtech Telecommunications (NASDAQ:CMTL) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 25% over the last 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. Specifically, we decided to study Comtech Telecommunications' ROE in this article.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
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 Comtech Telecommunications is:
1.3% = US$7.0m ÷ US$549m (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.01 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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.
Comtech Telecommunications' Earnings Growth And 1.3% ROE
It is hard to argue that Comtech Telecommunications' ROE is much good in and of itself. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 7.3%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. However, the moderate 19% net income growth seen by Comtech Telecommunications over the past five years is definitely a positive. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Comtech Telecommunications' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 2.4% in the same period, which is great to see.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about Comtech Telecommunications''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Comtech Telecommunications Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
With a three-year median payout ratio of 37% (implying that the company retains 63% of its profits), it seems that Comtech Telecommunications is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that's well covered.
Moreover, Comtech Telecommunications 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.
In total, it does look like Comtech Telecommunications has some positive aspects to its business. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. The latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to maintain its current growth rate. 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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