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Silicom's (NASDAQ:SILC) stock is up by 8.4% over the past three months. However, the company's financials look a bit inconsistent and market outcomes are ultimately driven by long-term fundamentals, meaning that the stock could head in either direction. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Silicom'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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 Silicom is:
4.8% = US$7.6m ÷ US$157m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.05.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.
Silicom's Earnings Growth And 4.8% ROE
On the face of it, Silicom's ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 14%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 14% seen by Silicom was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
However, when we compared Silicom's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 0.8% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
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 Silicom's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Silicom Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Silicom doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business, which doesn't explain why the company's earnings have shrunk if it is retaining all of its profits. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about Silicom. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. To know the 1 risk we have identified for Silicom visit our risks dashboard for free.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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