Lakeland Industries (NASDAQ:LAKE) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 37% over the last three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company’s key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. In this article, we decided to focus on Lakeland Industries’ ROE.
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. Put another way, it reveals the company’s success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
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 Lakeland Industries is:
13% = US$12m ÷ US$94m (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2020).
The ‘return’ is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.13 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.
Lakeland Industries’ Earnings Growth And 13% ROE
To start with, Lakeland Industries’ ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company’s ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 10%. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that Lakeland Industries’ net income shrunk at a rate of 42% over the past five years. Therefore, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
So, as a next step, we compared Lakeland Industries’ performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 1.9% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock’s future looks promising or ominous. If you’re wondering about Lakeland Industries”s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Lakeland Industries Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Lakeland Industries doesn’t pay any dividend, meaning that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business, which doesn’t explain why the company’s earnings have shrunk if it is retaining all of its profits. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.
On the whole, we do feel that Lakeland Industries has some positive attributes. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn’t the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that’s hampering its growth. Having said that, we studied the latest analyst forecasts, and found that analysts are expecting the company’s earnings growth to improve slightly. Sure enough, this could bring some relief to shareholders. 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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