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It is hard to get excited after looking at ImmuCell's (NASDAQ:ICCC) recent performance, when its stock has declined 7.7% over the past three months. It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. In this article, we decided to focus on ImmuCell's ROE.
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.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
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 ImmuCell is:
3.3% = US$1.1m ÷ US$33m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.03 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. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. 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.
ImmuCell's Earnings Growth And 3.3% ROE
It is quite clear that ImmuCell's ROE is rather low. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 21%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. As a result, ImmuCell's flat earnings over the past five years doesn't come as a surprise given its lower ROE.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that ImmuCell's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 31% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if ImmuCell is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is ImmuCell Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
ImmuCell doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that the company is keeping all of its profits, which makes us wonder why it is retaining its earnings if it can't use them to grow its business. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about ImmuCell. 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. Up till now, we've only made a short study of the company's growth data. You can do your own research on ImmuCell and see how it has performed in the past by looking at this FREE detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.
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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.