Are Universal Technical Institute, Inc.’s (NYSE:UTI) Fundamentals Good Enough to Warrant Buying Given The Stock’s Recent Weakness?

It is hard to get excited after looking at Universal Technical Institute’s (NYSE:UTI) recent performance, when its stock has declined 15% over the past month. 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 Universal Technical Institute’s ROE today.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for Universal Technical Institute

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 Universal Technical Institute is:

4.1% = US$7.0m ÷ US$171m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The ‘return’ refers to a company’s earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.04 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

Universal Technical Institute’s Earnings Growth And 4.1% ROE

It is hard to argue that Universal Technical Institute’s ROE is much good in and of itself. Even when compared to the industry average of 11%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. However, the moderate 14% net income growth seen by Universal Technical Institute over the past five years is definitely a positive. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. Such as – high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

As a next step, we compared Universal Technical Institute’s net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate of 15% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:UTI Past Earnings Growth September 23rd 2020

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you’re wondering about Universal Technical Institute’s’s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Universal Technical Institute Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

While the company did pay out a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn’t pay a dividend. We infer that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits to grow its business.

Summary

In total, it does look like Universal Technical Institute has some positive aspects to its business. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company’s earnings are expected to accelerate. 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.

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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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