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It is hard to get excited after looking at NVE's (NASDAQ:NVEC) recent performance, when its stock has declined 5.1% over the past three months. It is possible that the markets have ignored the company's differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Specifically, we decided to study NVE's ROE in this article.
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?
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 NVE is:
16% = US$12m ÷ US$71m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.16.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.
NVE's Earnings Growth And 16% ROE
To begin with, NVE seems to have a respectable ROE. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 14% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. Given the circumstances, we can't help but wonder why NVE saw little to no growth in the past five years. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that's limiting the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that NVE's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 16% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if NVE is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is NVE Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
NVE's very high three-year median payout ratio of 138% suggests that the company is paying its shareholders more than what it is earning. The absence of growth in NVE's earnings therefore, doesn't come as a surprise. Paying a dividend beyond their means is usually not viable over the long term. This is indicative of risk.
Additionally, NVE has paid dividends over a period of six years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by NVE can be open to many interpretations. Despite the high ROE, the company has a disappointing earnings growth number, due to its poor rate of reinvestment into its business. So far, we've only made a quick discussion around the company's earnings growth. To gain further insights into NVE's past profit growth, check out this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.
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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