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Should Weakness in Strategic Education, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:STRA) Stock Be Seen As A Sign That Market Will Correct The Share Price Given Decent Financials?

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With its stock down 7.2% over the past week, it is easy to disregard Strategic Education (NASDAQ:STRA). But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Strategic Education's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Strategic Education

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 Strategic Education is:

3.0% = US$53m ÷ US$1.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.03 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Strategic Education's Earnings Growth And 3.0% ROE

It is quite clear that Strategic Education's ROE is rather low. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 8.0%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. In spite of this, Strategic Education was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 25% in the last five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

We then compared Strategic Education'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 11% 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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for STRA? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Strategic Education Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Strategic Education's significant three-year median payout ratio of 63% (where it is retaining only 37% of its income) suggests that the company has been able to achieve a high growth in earnings despite returning most of its income to shareholders.

Additionally, Strategic Education has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Strategic Education certainly does have some positive factors to consider. That is, quite an impressive growth in earnings. However, the low profit retention means that the company's earnings growth could have been higher, had it been reinvesting a higher portion of its profits. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company's earnings growth is expected be similar to its current growth rate. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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

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.