Xpediator Plc (LON:XPD) Is Going Strong But Fundamentals Appear To Be Mixed : Is There A Clear Direction For The Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
June 02, 2021
AIM:XPD
Source: Shutterstock

Most readers would already be aware that Xpediator's (LON:XPD) stock increased significantly by 30% 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. Specifically, we decided to study Xpediator's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Xpediator

How Do You 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 Xpediator is:

9.8% = UK£3.1m ÷ UK£31m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.10 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. 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. 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.

Xpediator's Earnings Growth And 9.8% ROE

To begin with, Xpediator seems to have a respectable ROE. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 13% does temper our expectations. Further research shows that Xpediator's net income has shrunk at a rate of 2.1% over the last five years. Bear in mind, the company does have a high ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So there might be other reasons for the earnings to shrink. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

However, when we compared Xpediator's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 7.6% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
AIM:XPD Past Earnings Growth June 3rd 2021

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 Xpediator is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Xpediator Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Xpediator has a high three-year median payout ratio of 52% (that is, it is retaining 48% of its profits). This suggests that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This goes some way in explaining why its earnings have been shrinking. The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run. To know the 3 risks we have identified for Xpediator visit our risks dashboard for free.

Moreover, Xpediator has been paying dividends for four years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer consistent dividends even though earnings have been shrinking. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 44% of its profits over the next three years.

Conclusion

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Xpediator's performance. Primarily, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a moderate ROE. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which explains the lack of growth. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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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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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