Northern Technologies International (NASDAQ:NTIC) has had a rough three months with its share price down 3.3%. 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 Northern Technologies International's 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.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Northern Technologies International is:
2.8% = US$1.7m ÷ US$60m (Based on the trailing twelve months to May 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 $0.03 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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. 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.
Northern Technologies International's Earnings Growth And 2.8% ROE
As you can see, Northern Technologies International's ROE looks pretty weak. Even when compared to the industry average of 10%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. Despite this, surprisingly, Northern Technologies International saw an exceptional 32% net income growth over the past five years. We believe that there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.
As a next step, we compared Northern Technologies International's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 8.0%.
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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about Northern Technologies International's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Northern Technologies International Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
While the company did pay out a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. This is likely what's driving the high earnings growth number discussed above.
On the whole, we do feel that Northern Technologies International has some positive attributes. Despite its low rate of return, the fact that the company reinvests a very high portion of its profits into its business, no doubt contributed to its high earnings growth. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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. 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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