With its stock down 9.3% over the past month, it is easy to disregard NVE (NASDAQ:NVEC). It is possible that the markets have ignored the company's differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. In this article, we decided to focus on NVE's ROE.
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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
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 NVE is:
17% = US$13m ÷ US$77m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.17 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 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.
NVE's Earnings Growth And 17% ROE
To start with, NVE's ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 11%. Despite this, NVE's five year net income growth was quite low averaging at only 2.7%. This is interesting as the high returns should mean that the company has the ability to generate high growth but for some reason, it hasn't been able to do so. Such a scenario is likely to take place when a company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that NVE's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 18% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. If you're wondering about NVE's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is NVE Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
NVE's very high three-year median payout ratio of 138% suggests that the company is paying its shareholders more than what it is earning and it definitely contributes to the low earnings growth seen by the company. This is quite a risky position to be in.
Moreover, NVE has been paying dividends for five years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about NVE. In spite of the high ROE, the company has failed to see growth in its earnings due to it paying out most of its profits as dividend, with almost nothing left to invest into its own business. So far, we've only made a quick discussion around the company's earnings growth. You can do your own research on NVE and see how it has performed in the past by looking at this FREE detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.
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.
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