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Can QAD Inc.'s (NASDAQ:QADA) Weak Financials Pull The Plug On The Stock's Current Momentum On Its Share Price?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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Most readers would already be aware that QAD's (NASDAQ:QADA) stock increased significantly by 22% over the past three months. However, in this article, we decided to focus on its weak fundamentals, as long-term financial performance of a business is what ultimatley dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to QAD's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for QAD

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

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

2.8% = US$3.3m ÷ US$118m (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned 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 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. 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. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

A Side By Side comparison of QAD's Earnings Growth And 2.8% ROE

As you can see, QAD's ROE looks pretty weak. Even compared to the average industry ROE of 13%, the company's ROE is quite dismal. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 18% seen by QAD was possibly a result of it having a lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.

However, when we compared QAD's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 28% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about QAD's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is QAD Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

QAD's high LTM (or last twelve month) payout ratio of 181% suggests that the company is depleting its resources to keep up its dividend payments, and this shows in its shrinking earnings. Paying a dividend beyond their means is usually not viable over the long term. To know the 2 risks we have identified for QAD visit our risks dashboard for free.

Additionally, QAD has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth.

Summary

Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on QAD. Specifically, it has shown quite an unsatisfactory performance as far as earnings growth is concerned, and a poor ROE and an equally poor rate of reinvestment seem to be the reason behind this inadequate performance. 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. 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.

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.