Stock Analysis

Are Strong Financial Prospects The Force That Is Driving The Momentum In Water Intelligence plc's LON:WATR) Stock?

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AIM:WATR
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Water Intelligence (LON:WATR) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 50% over the last three months. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. In this article, we decided to focus on Water Intelligence'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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

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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 Water Intelligence is:

11% = US$2.1m ÷ US$19m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.11.

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 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Water Intelligence's Earnings Growth And 11% ROE

At first glance, Water Intelligence seems to have a decent ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 10%. This certainly adds some context to Water Intelligence's exceptional 30% net income growth seen over the past five years. We believe that there might also be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. 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 Water Intelligence's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 9.5%.

past-earnings-growth
AIM:WATR Past Earnings Growth December 8th 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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. 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 Water Intelligence is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Water Intelligence Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Water Intelligence's performance. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Let's not forget, business risk is also one of the factors that affects the price of the stock. So this is also an important area that investors need to pay attention to before making a decision on any business. You can see the 2 risks we have identified for Water Intelligence by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

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