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Declining Stock and Solid Fundamentals: Is The Market Wrong About Seneca Foods Corporation (NASDAQ:SENE.A)?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Seneca Foods' (NASDAQ:SENE.A) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.2% over the past month. 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Seneca Foods' ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Seneca Foods

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Seneca Foods is:

26% = US$132m ÷ US$504m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.26 in profit.

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. 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.

Seneca Foods' Earnings Growth And 26% ROE

First thing first, we like that Seneca Foods has an impressive ROE. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 11% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. This probably laid the groundwork for Seneca Foods' moderate 8.2% net income growth seen over the past five years.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that the growth figure reported by Seneca Foods compares quite favourably to the industry average, which shows a decline of 1.2% 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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about Seneca Foods''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Seneca Foods Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Seneca Foods' performance. 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. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Remember, the price of a stock is also dependent on the perceived risk. Therefore investors must keep themselves informed about the risks involved before investing in any company. To know the 2 risks we have identified for Seneca Foods visit our risks dashboard for free.

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.

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