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RPC's (NYSE:RES) stock is up by a considerable 64% 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. In this article, we decided to focus on RPC's ROE.
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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 RPC is:
4.9% = US$32m ÷ US$658m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.05 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.
RPC's Earnings Growth And 4.9% ROE
At first glance, RPC'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 7.2% either. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 35% seen by RPC was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
Next, when we compared with the industry, which has shrunk its earnings at a rate of 2.2% in the same period, we still found RPC's performance to be quite bleak, because the company has been shrinking its earnings faster than the industry.
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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is RES fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is RPC Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Because RPC doesn't pay any dividends, we infer that it is retaining all of its profits, which is rather perplexing when you consider the fact that there is no earnings growth to show for it. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about RPC. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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.
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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.