Cass Information Systems (NASDAQ:CASS) has had a rough month with its share price down 14%. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. In this article, we decided to focus on Cass Information Systems' ROE.
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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 Cass Information Systems is:
12% = US$30m ÷ US$241m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.12.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.
Cass Information Systems' Earnings Growth And 12% ROE
To start with, Cass Information Systems' ROE looks acceptable. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 17% does temper our expectations. Cass Information Systems was still able to see a decent net income growth of 6.9% over the past five years. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this also provides some context to the earnings growth seen by the company.
We then compared Cass Information Systems' net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 9.5% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Has the market priced in the future outlook for CASS? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report
Is Cass Information Systems Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Cass Information Systems has a three-year median payout ratio of 43%, which implies that it retains the remaining 57% of its profits. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the decent growth seen by the company, it looks like management is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.
Moreover, Cass Information Systems is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years.
In total, it does look like Cass Information Systems has some positive aspects to its business. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a moderate rate of return, that has resulted in a respectable growth in its earnings. While we won't completely dismiss the company, what we would do, is try to ascertain how risky the business is to make a more informed decision around the company. Our risks dashboard will have the 1 risk we have identified for Cass Information Systems.
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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