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Leju Holdings Limited's (NYSE:LEJU) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

·3 min read

With its stock down 40% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Leju Holdings (NYSE:LEJU). However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Specifically, we decided to study Leju Holdings' 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 Leju Holdings

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 Leju Holdings is:

7.1% = US$21m ÷ US$295m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.07 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

Leju Holdings' Earnings Growth And 7.1% ROE

When you first look at it, Leju Holdings' ROE doesn't look that attractive. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 22%. Although, we can see that Leju Holdings saw a modest net income growth of 15% over the past five years. So, the growth in the company's earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Leju Holdings' reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 27% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is Leju Holdings fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Leju Holdings Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Leju Holdings doesn't pay any dividend currently which essentially means that it has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This definitely contributes to the decent earnings growth number that we discussed above.

Summary

In total, it does look like Leju Holdings has some positive aspects to its business. That is, a decent growth in earnings backed by a high rate of reinvestment. However, we do feel that that earnings growth could have been higher if the business were to improve on the low ROE rate. Especially given how the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.

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 (at) simplywallst.com.