Could The Market Be Wrong About Spirent Communications plc (LON:SPT) Given Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

·4 min read

Spirent Communications (LON:SPT) has had a rough three months with its share price down 33%. 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 Spirent Communications' ROE in this article.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

Check out our latest analysis for Spirent Communications

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Spirent Communications is:

21% = US$100m ÷ US$465m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.21 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Spirent Communications' Earnings Growth And 21% ROE

To begin with, Spirent Communications has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 14% the company's ROE is quite impressive. This likely paved the way for the modest 19% net income growth seen by Spirent Communications over the past five years. growth

As a next step, we compared Spirent Communications' net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate of 19% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. 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 Spirent Communications is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Spirent Communications Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Spirent Communications has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 45% (or a retention ratio of 55%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.

Besides, Spirent Communications has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. 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 47%. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 18%.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that Spirent Communications' performance has been quite good. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a sizeable growth in its earnings. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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.

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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