Most readers would already be aware that Trainline's (LON:TRN) stock increased significantly by 16% over the past month. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Trainline's ROE in this article.
Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Trainline is:
7.3% = UK£21m ÷ UK£291m (Based on the trailing twelve months to February 2023).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.07 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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 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.
Trainline's Earnings Growth And 7.3% ROE
When you first look at it, Trainline's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 12%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. In spite of this, Trainline was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 34% 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.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that the growth figure reported by Trainline compares quite favourably to the industry average, which shows a decline of 3.5% over the last few years.
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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for TRN? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Trainline Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Trainline doesn't pay any dividend currently which essentially means that it has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This definitely contributes to the high earnings growth number that we discussed above.
In total, it does look like Trainline 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. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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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.