Stock Analysis

Solid State plc's (LON:SOLI) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

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AIM:SOLI
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Solid State (LON:SOLI) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 8.5% over the last month. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Solid State'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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

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How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE 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 Solid State is:

15% = UK£3.4m ÷ UK£23m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2020).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.15.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Solid State's Earnings Growth And 15% ROE

At first glance, Solid State seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 8.0%. Despite this, Solid State's five year net income growth was quite low averaging at only 2.6%. This is interesting as the high returns should mean that the company has the ability to generate high growth but for some reason, it hasn't been able to do so. A few likely reasons why this could happen is that the company could have a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

As a next step, we compared Solid State's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 17% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
AIM:SOLI Past Earnings Growth December 2nd 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 Solid State is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Solid State Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

While Solid State has a decent three-year median payout ratio of 43% (or a retention ratio of 57%), it has seen very little growth in earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Solid State has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Solid State certainly does have some positive factors to consider. 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. 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. To know the 1 risk we have identified for Solid State visit our risks dashboard for free.

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About AIM:SOLI

Solid State

Solid State plc designs and manufactures electronic equipment and supplies the value added electronic components and materials in the United Kingdom, rest of Europe, Asia, North America, and internationally.

Reasonable growth potential with adequate balance sheet.