Tetra Tech (NASDAQ:TTEK) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 23% over the last three months. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Tetra Tech's ROE today.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
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 Tetra Tech is:
14% = US$141m ÷ US$993m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.14.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Tetra Tech's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE
To start with, Tetra Tech's ROE looks acceptable. Even when compared to the industry average of 12% the company's ROE looks quite decent. This probably goes some way in explaining Tetra Tech's significant 23% net income growth over the past five years amongst other factors. However, there could also be other drivers behind this growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
As a next step, we compared Tetra Tech's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 17%.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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 Tetra Tech fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
Is Tetra Tech Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Tetra Tech's three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 18%, which is quite low. This implies that the company is retaining 82% of its profits. So it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business and this reflects in its earnings growth number.
Additionally, Tetra Tech has paid dividends over a period of six years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 18% of its profits over the next three years. However, Tetra Tech's ROE is predicted to rise to 17% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
On the whole, we feel that Tetra Tech's performance has been quite good. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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.
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