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CRISPR Therapeutics AG's (NASDAQ:CRSP) Financials Are Too Obscure To Link With Current Share Price Momentum: What's In Store For the Stock?

·4 min read

Most readers would already be aware that CRISPR Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:CRSP) stock increased significantly by 30% over the past month. But the company's key financial indicators appear to be differing across the board and that makes us question whether or not the company's current share price momentum can be maintained. Particularly, we will be paying attention to CRISPR Therapeutics' ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for CRISPR Therapeutics

How To 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 CRISPR Therapeutics is:

7.1% = US$67m ÷ US$939m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019).

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 Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learnt 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. 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.

CRISPR Therapeutics' Earnings Growth And 7.1% ROE

On the face of it, CRISPR Therapeutics' ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 19%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 24% seen by CRISPR Therapeutics was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.

That being said, we compared CRISPR Therapeutics' performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 24% in the same period.

NasdaqGM:CRSP Past Earnings Growth April 18th 2020
NasdaqGM:CRSP Past Earnings Growth April 18th 2020

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. 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 CRISPR Therapeutics is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is CRISPR Therapeutics Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

CRISPR Therapeutics doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that the company is keeping all of its profits, which makes us wonder why it is retaining its earnings if it can't use them to grow its business. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about CRISPR Therapeutics' performance. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that analysts are forecasting a slight improvement in the company's future earnings growth. This could offer some relief to the company's existing shareholders. 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.