CSG Systems International (NASDAQ:CSGS) has had a rough three months with its share price down 9.1%. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study CSG Systems International's ROE in this article.
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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
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 CSG Systems International is:
17% = US$68m ÷ US$410m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.17 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. 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.
CSG Systems International's Earnings Growth And 17% ROE
To start with, CSG Systems International's ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 15%. Despite the modest returns, CSG Systems International's five year net income growth was quite low, averaging at only 4.7%. We reckon that a low growth, when returns are moderate could be the result of certain circumstances like low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
As a next step, we compared CSG Systems International's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 12% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. What is CSGS worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CSGS is currently mispriced by the market.
Is CSG Systems International Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
While CSG Systems International has a decent three-year median payout ratio of 41% (or a retention ratio of 59%), it has seen very little growth in earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.
Moreover, CSG Systems International has been paying dividends for seven years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 25% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.
On the whole, we do feel that CSG Systems International has some positive attributes. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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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