Should Weakness in MSL Solutions Limited's (ASX:MSL) Stock Be Seen As A Sign That Market Will Correct The Share Price Given Decent Financials?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 24, 2022
ASX:MSL
Source: Shutterstock

It is hard to get excited after looking at MSL Solutions' (ASX:MSL) recent performance, when its stock has declined 18% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study MSL Solutions' ROE in this article.

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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for MSL Solutions

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 MSL Solutions is:

4.7% = AU$1.0m ÷ AU$22m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

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$0.05 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. 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.

MSL Solutions' Earnings Growth And 4.7% ROE

On the face of it, MSL Solutions' ROE is not much to talk about. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 10% either. However, the moderate 7.8% net income growth seen by MSL Solutions over the past five years is definitely a positive. So, the growth in the company's earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. 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 MSL Solutions' net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 18% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
ASX:MSL Past Earnings Growth February 24th 2022

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is MSL Solutions fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is MSL Solutions Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

MSL Solutions doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that all of its profits are being reinvested in the business, which explains the fair bit of earnings growth the company has seen.

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that MSL Solutions has some positive attributes. Specifically, its fairly high earnings growth number, which no doubt was backed by the company's high earnings retention. Still, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping a lot of benefit to the investors. While we won't completely dismiss the company, what we would do, is try to ascertain how risky the business is to make a more informed decision around the company. You can see the 5 risks we have identified for MSL Solutions by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

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