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TravelCenters of America Inc.'s (NASDAQ:TA) Stock Is Going Strong: Have Financials A Role To Play?

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Most readers would already be aware that TravelCenters of America's (NASDAQ:TA) stock increased significantly by 40% over the past three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on TravelCenters of America's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for TravelCenters of America

How Do You 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 TravelCenters of America is:

3.7% = US$25m ÷ US$665m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.04 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

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

TravelCenters of America's Earnings Growth And 3.7% ROE

It is hard to argue that TravelCenters of America's ROE is much good in and of itself. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 28%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. However, the moderate 15% net income growth seen by TravelCenters of America over the past five years is definitely a positive. We believe that there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

Next, on comparing TravelCenters of America's net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 14% 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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. 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 TravelCenters of America is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is TravelCenters of America Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that TravelCenters of America has some positive attributes. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink in the future. 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.

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.

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