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Most readers would already be aware that NetScout Systems' (NASDAQ:NTCT) stock increased significantly by 25% over the past 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 NetScout Systems' ROE.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How Do You 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 NetScout Systems is:
1.2% = US$23m ÷ US$1.9b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.01 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
A Side By Side comparison of NetScout Systems' Earnings Growth And 1.2% ROE
It is hard to argue that NetScout Systems' ROE is much good in and of itself. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 8.3%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. For this reason, NetScout Systems' five year net income decline of 6.0% is not surprising given its lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. 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 NetScout Systems' 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 1.2% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Has the market priced in the future outlook for NTCT? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is NetScout Systems Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about NetScout Systems' 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, 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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