Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMPH) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 48% over the last three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Amphastar Pharmaceuticals' 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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How To 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 Amphastar Pharmaceuticals is:
12% = US$52m ÷ US$423m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2020).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.12 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals' Earnings Growth And 12% ROE
To begin with, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals seems to have a respectable ROE. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 19%. However, we are pleased to see the impressive 59% net income growth reported by Amphastar Pharmaceuticals over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this certainly also provides some context to the high earnings growth seen by the company.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Amphastar Pharmaceuticals' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 13% in the same period, which is great to see.
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. 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 Amphastar Pharmaceuticals is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals doesn't pay any dividend to its shareholders, meaning that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This is likely what's driving the high earnings growth number discussed above.
In total, we are pretty happy with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals' performance. Specifically, we like that it has been reinvesting a high portion of its profits at a moderate rate of return, resulting in earnings expansion. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Let's not forget, business risk is also one of the factors that affects the price of the stock. So this is also an important area that investors need to pay attention to before making a decision on any business. You can see the 3 risks we have identified for Amphastar Pharmaceuticals by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.
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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