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Viavi Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAV) Is Up But Financials Look Inconsistent: Which Way Is The Stock Headed?

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Viavi Solutions' (NASDAQ:VIAV) stock is up by 5.7% over the past three months. However, we decided to study the company's mixed-bag of fundamentals to assess what this could mean for future share prices, as stock prices tend to be aligned with a company's long-term financial performance. Specifically, we decided to study Viavi Solutions' 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for Viavi Solutions

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 Viavi Solutions is:

9.2% = US$75m ÷ US$812m (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.09 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. 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 Viavi Solutions' Earnings Growth And 9.2% ROE

When you first look at it, Viavi Solutions' ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 13%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, Viavi Solutions' flat earnings over the past five years can possibly be explained by the low ROE amongst other factors.

From the 1.9% decline reported by the industry in the same period, we infer that Viavi Solutions and its industry are both shrinking at a similar rate.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Is VIAV fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Viavi Solutions Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Viavi Solutions can be open to many interpretations. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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.