3P Learning Limited's (ASX:3PL) Financials Are Too Obscure To Link With Current Share Price Momentum: What's In Store For the Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 05, 2020
ASX:3PL

3P Learning's (ASX:3PL) stock is up by a considerable 15% over the past three months. But the company's key financial indicators appear to be differing across the board and that makes us question whether or not the company's current share price momentum can be maintained. In this article, we decided to focus on 3P Learning's 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for 3P Learning

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

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 3P Learning is:

5.9% = AU$1.6m ÷ AU$26m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every A$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of A$0.06.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.

3P Learning's Earnings Growth And 5.9% ROE

At first glance, 3P Learning's ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 9.1% either. For this reason, 3P Learning's five year net income decline of 21% is not surprising given its lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

So, as a next step, we compared 3P Learning's 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 18% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
ASX:3PL Past Earnings Growth November 5th 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 3P Learning fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is 3P Learning Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

3P Learning 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. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Summary

Overall, we have mixed feelings about 3P Learning. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its earnings growth. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. You can see the 1 risk we have identified for 3P Learning by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

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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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