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Most readers would already be aware that inTEST's (NYSEMKT:INTT) stock increased significantly by 48% over the past three months. But the company's key financial indicators appear to be differing across the board and that makes us question whether or not the company's current share price momentum can be maintained. Specifically, we decided to study inTEST's ROE in this article.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 inTEST is:
0.9% = US$398k ÷ US$44m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.01 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. 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.
inTEST's Earnings Growth And 0.9% ROE
It is quite clear that inTEST's ROE is rather low. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 11%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. For this reason, inTEST's five year net income decline of 19% is not surprising given its lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For example, the business has allocated capital poorly, or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
So, as a next step, we compared inTEST's performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 18% in the same period.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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 inTEST is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is inTEST Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
inTEST 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. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by inTEST can be open to many interpretations. 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. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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.
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