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Smartpay Holdings Limited (NZSE:SPY) Is Up But Financials Look Inconsistent: Which Way Is The Stock Headed?

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Smartpay Holdings' (NZSE:SPY) stock is up by 7.5% 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 Smartpay Holdings' ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Smartpay Holdings

How Do You 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 Smartpay Holdings is:

8.6% = NZ$3.1m ÷ NZ$36m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each NZ$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made NZ$0.09 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

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

Smartpay Holdings' Earnings Growth And 8.6% ROE

When you first look at it, Smartpay Holdings' ROE doesn't look that attractive. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 13% either. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 49% seen by Smartpay Holdings over the last five years is not surprising. 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.

So, as a next step, we compared Smartpay Holdings' performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 14% in the same period.

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is Smartpay Holdings fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Smartpay Holdings Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Because Smartpay Holdings doesn't pay any dividends, we infer that it is retaining all of its profits, which is rather perplexing when you consider the fact that there is no earnings growth to show for it. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Smartpay Holdings can be open to many interpretations. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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

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.