Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Dropbox, Inc. (NASDAQ:DBX)?

With its stock down 11% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX). 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Dropbox’s ROE.

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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder’s equity.

View our latest analysis for Dropbox

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity 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 Dropbox is:

4.1% = US$33m ÷ US$803m (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 $0.04 in profit.

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. 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.

Dropbox’s Earnings Growth And 4.1% ROE

As you can see, Dropbox’s ROE looks pretty weak. Even compared to the average industry ROE of 11%, the company’s ROE is quite dismal. In spite of this, Dropbox was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 29% in the last five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. 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 Dropbox’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 27% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NasdaqGS:DBX Past Earnings Growth September 26th 2020

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 DBX fairly valued? This infographic on the company’s intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Dropbox Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Dropbox doesn’t pay any dividend to its shareholders, meaning that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This is likely what’s driving the high earnings growth number discussed above.

Summary

In total, it does look like Dropbox has some positive aspects to its business. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. 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.

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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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