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Daktronics' (NASDAQ:DAKT) stock is up by a considerable 24% over the past three months. However, we decided to pay close attention to its weak financials as we are doubtful that the current momentum will keep up, given the scenario. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Daktronics' ROE today.
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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How Is ROE Calculated?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Daktronics is:
5.0% = US$9.6m ÷ US$193m (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2021).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.05.
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. 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.
Daktronics' Earnings Growth And 5.0% ROE
At first glance, Daktronics' ROE doesn't look very promising. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 11%, 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 34% seen by Daktronics was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
So, as a next step, we compared Daktronics' performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 11% in the same period.
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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. 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 Daktronics is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Daktronics Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
While the company did payout a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. This implies that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business.
In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Daktronics. Specifically, it has shown quite an unsatisfactory performance as far as earnings growth is concerned, and a poor ROE and an equally poor rate of reinvestment seem to be the reason behind this inadequate performance. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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.
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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