Is Highway Holdings Limited's (NASDAQ:HIHO) Stock On A Downtrend As A Result Of Its Poor Financials?
Highway Holdings (NASDAQ:HIHO) has had a rough month with its share price down 12%. We decided to study the company's financials to determine if the downtrend will continue as the long-term performance of a company usually dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Highway Holdings' ROE today.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
View our latest analysis for Highway Holdings
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 Highway Holdings is:
4.9% = US$461k ÷ US$9.4m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. 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?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
Highway Holdings' Earnings Growth And 4.9% ROE
On the face of it, Highway Holdings' ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 13%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. For this reason, Highway Holdings' five year net income decline of 13% is not surprising given its lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
However, when we compared Highway Holdings' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 7.8% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Highway Holdings''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Highway Holdings Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Highway Holdings' high three-year median payout ratio of 158% suggests that the company is depleting its resources to keep up its dividend payments, and this shows in its shrinking earnings. Its usually very hard to sustain dividend payments that are higher than reported profits. Our risks dashboard should have the 3 risks we have identified for Highway Holdings.
In addition, Highway Holdings has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth.
In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Highway Holdings. 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. Up till now, we've only made a short study of the company's growth data. You can do your own research on Highway Holdings and see how it has performed in the past by looking at this FREE detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here