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HCI Group (NYSE:HCI) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 22% over the last three months. However, we wonder if the company's inconsistent financials would have any adverse impact on the current share price momentum. In this article, we decided to focus on HCI Group's ROE.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How Is ROE Calculated?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for HCI Group is:
9.4% = US$29m ÷ US$306m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.09 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.
A Side By Side comparison of HCI Group's Earnings Growth And 9.4% ROE
At first glance, HCI Group's ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 12% either. Accordingly, HCI Group's low net income growth of 4.0% over the past five years can possibly be explained by the low ROE amongst other factors.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that HCI Group's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 13% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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 HCI Group's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is HCI Group Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
While HCI Group has a decent three-year median payout ratio of 48% (or a retention ratio of 52%), it has seen very little growth in earnings. So there could be some other explanation in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.
Moreover, HCI Group has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth.
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about HCI Group's performance. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its earnings growth. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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