It is hard to get excited after looking at Image Sensing Systems' (NASDAQ:ISNS) recent performance, when its stock has declined 5.5% over the past three months. However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. Specifically, we decided to study Image Sensing Systems' 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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
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 Image Sensing Systems is:
37% = US$6.6m ÷ US$18m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 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 $0.37 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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 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.
Image Sensing Systems' Earnings Growth And 37% ROE
To begin with, Image Sensing Systems has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 10% which is quite remarkable. As a result, Image Sensing Systems' exceptional 56% net income growth seen over the past five years, doesn't come as a surprise.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Image Sensing Systems' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 11% in the same period, which is great to see.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is ISNS fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Image Sensing Systems Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Image Sensing Systems doesn't pay any dividend currently which essentially means that it has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This definitely contributes to the high earnings growth number that we discussed above.
In total, we are pretty happy with Image Sensing Systems' 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. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Let's not forget, business risk is also one of the factors that affects the price of the stock. So this is also an important area that investors need to pay attention to before making a decision on any business. To know the 2 risks we have identified for Image Sensing Systems visit our risks dashboard for free.
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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