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Declining Stock and Solid Fundamentals: Is The Market Wrong About Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO)?

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Exponent (NASDAQ:EXPO) has had a rough month with its share price down 16%. 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. Specifically, we decided to study Exponent's ROE in this article.

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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Exponent

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 Exponent is:

26% = US$100m ÷ US$387m (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2022).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Exponent's Earnings Growth And 26% ROE

To begin with, Exponent has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 17% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. This probably laid the groundwork for Exponent's moderate 16% net income growth seen over the past five years.

As a next step, we compared Exponent's net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate of 16% 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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about Exponent's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Exponent Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Exponent has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 42% (or a retention ratio of 58%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.

Additionally, Exponent has paid dividends over a period of nine years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 50% of its profits over the next three years.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that Exponent's performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.