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PCTEL, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:PCTI) Stock is Soaring But Financials Seem Inconsistent: Will The Uptrend Continue?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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PCTEL (NASDAQ:PCTI) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 19% 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to PCTEL's ROE today.

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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for PCTEL

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for PCTEL is:

4.8% = US$3.4m ÷ US$71m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

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 $0.05.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.

PCTEL's Earnings Growth And 4.8% ROE

When you first look at it, PCTEL's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 12%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. In spite of this, PCTEL was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 29% in the last five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that PCTEL's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 3.5% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. What is PCTI worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether PCTI is currently mispriced by the market.

Is PCTEL Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

PCTEL has very a high three-year median payout ratio of 105% suggesting that the company's shareholders are getting paid from more than just the company's earnings. However, this hasn't hampered its ability to grow as we saw earlier. Having said that, the high payout ratio is definitely risky and something to keep an eye on. Our risks dashboard should have the 3 risks we have identified for PCTEL.

Additionally, PCTEL has paid dividends over a period of nine years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by PCTEL can be open to many interpretations. Although the company has shown a pretty impressive growth in earnings, yet the low ROE and the low rate of reinvestment makes us skeptical about the continuity of that growth, especially when or if the business comes to face any threats. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings 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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.