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Ultralife Corporation's (NASDAQ:ULBI) Stock Is Going Strong: Have Financials A Role To Play?

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Most readers would already be aware that Ultralife's (NASDAQ:ULBI) stock increased significantly by 16% over the past month. 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. Specifically, we decided to study Ultralife's ROE in this article.

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.

View our latest analysis for Ultralife

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Ultralife is:

4.3% = US$4.9m ÷ US$114m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.04 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

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

A Side By Side comparison of Ultralife's Earnings Growth And 4.3% ROE

At first glance, Ultralife's ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 7.5% either. In spite of this, Ultralife was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 27% in the last five years. So, 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.

We then compared Ultralife'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 4.4% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. 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 Ultralife's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Ultralife Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Summary

In total, it does look like Ultralife 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. While we won't completely dismiss the company, what we would do, is try to ascertain how risky the business is to make a more informed decision around the company. Our risks dashboard will have the 1 risk we have identified for Ultralife.

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@simplywallst.com.