QANTM Intellectual Property (ASX:QIP) has had a rough three months with its share price down 10%. It is possible that the markets have ignored the company's differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Particularly, we will be paying attention to QANTM Intellectual Property's ROE today.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for QANTM Intellectual Property is:
15% = AU$11m ÷ AU$74m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.15 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For 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.
QANTM Intellectual Property's Earnings Growth And 15% ROE
To begin with, QANTM Intellectual Property seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 15% the company's ROE looks quite decent. As you might expect, the 12% net income decline reported by QANTM Intellectual Property is a bit of a surprise. So, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.
However, when we compared QANTM Intellectual Property's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 11% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if QANTM Intellectual Property is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is QANTM Intellectual Property Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
QANTM Intellectual Property's declining earnings is not surprising given how the company is spending most of its profits in paying dividends, judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 99% (or a retention ratio of 1.2%). With only very little left to reinvest into the business, growth in earnings is far from likely. You can see the 2 risks we have identified for QANTM Intellectual Property by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.
Additionally, QANTM Intellectual Property has paid dividends over a period of four years, which means that the company's management is rather focused on keeping up its dividend payments, regardless of the shrinking earnings. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 78% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the lower expected payout ratio.
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about QANTM Intellectual Property's performance. 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. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings 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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