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Should Weakness in Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc's (NASDAQ:HCCI) Stock Be Seen As A Sign That Market Will Correct The Share Price Given Decent Financials?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Heritage-Crystal Clean's (NASDAQ:HCCI) recent performance, when its stock has declined 12% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. In this article, we decided to focus on Heritage-Crystal Clean's ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Heritage-Crystal Clean

How To 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 Heritage-Crystal Clean is:

2.5% = US$6.6m ÷ US$266m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

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 $0.02 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

Heritage-Crystal Clean's Earnings Growth And 2.5% ROE

It is quite clear that Heritage-Crystal Clean's ROE is rather low. Even when compared to the industry average of 13%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. In spite of this, Heritage-Crystal Clean was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 30% in the last five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

We then compared Heritage-Crystal Clean'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 16% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is HCCI fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Heritage-Crystal Clean Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Heritage-Crystal Clean 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.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like Heritage-Crystal Clean has some positive aspects to its business. Despite its low rate of return, the fact that the company reinvests a very high portion of its profits into its business, no doubt contributed to its high earnings growth. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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@simplywallst.com.