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Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB) Stock Is Going Strong But Fundamentals Look Uncertain: What Lies Ahead ?

Simply Wall St
·4 mins read

Most readers would already be aware that Dolby Laboratories' (NYSE:DLB) stock increased significantly by 11% over the past three months. However, we wonder if the company's inconsistent financials would have any adverse impact on the current share price momentum. Specifically, we decided to study Dolby Laboratories' 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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Dolby Laboratories

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Dolby Laboratories is:

10% = US$249m ÷ US$2.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 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 $0.10 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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. 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 Dolby Laboratories' Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

At first glance, Dolby Laboratories' ROE doesn't look very promising. However, given that the company's ROE is similar to the average industry ROE of 9.9%, we may spare it some thought. On the other hand, Dolby Laboratories reported a fairly low 3.3% net income growth over the past five years. Bear in mind, the company's ROE is not very high . So this could also be one of the reasons behind the company's low growth in earnings.

We then compared Dolby Laboratories' net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 10.0% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. 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 Dolby Laboratories''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Dolby Laboratories Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Despite having a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 37% (implying that the company retains the remaining 63% of its income), Dolby Laboratories' earnings growth was quite low. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Dolby Laboratories has paid dividends over a period of six years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 28% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 14%, over the same period.

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Dolby Laboratories' performance. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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.

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@simplywallst.com.