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Smith Micro Software, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:SMSI) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

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With its stock down 16% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Smith Micro Software (NASDAQ:SMSI). But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study Smith Micro Software's ROE in this article.

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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Smith Micro Software

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Smith Micro Software is:

7.1% = US$4.2m ÷ US$59m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.07 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.

Smith Micro Software's Earnings Growth And 7.1% ROE

On the face of it, Smith Micro Software's ROE is not much to talk about. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 14% either. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that Smith Micro Software grew its net income at a significant rate of 57% in the last five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

We then compared Smith Micro Software's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 30% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is Smith Micro Software fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Smith Micro Software Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Summary

In total, it does look like Smith Micro Software has some positive aspects to its business. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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.