Aptech Limited's (NSE:APTECHT) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 25, 2022
NSEI:APTECHT
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It is hard to get excited after looking at Aptech's (NSE:APTECHT) recent performance, when its stock has declined 16% over the past week. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Aptech's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Aptech

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 Aptech is:

16% = ₹265m ÷ ₹1.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every ₹1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn ₹0.16 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Aptech's Earnings Growth And 16% ROE

At first glance, Aptech seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 5.0%. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that Aptech's net income shrunk at a rate of 10.0% over the past five years. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

With the industry earnings declining at a rate of 10.0% in the same period, we deduce that both the company and the industry are shrinking at the same rate.

past-earnings-growth
NSEI:APTECHT Past Earnings Growth January 25th 2022

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. 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 Aptech is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Aptech Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Aptech 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. With only very little left to reinvest into the business, growth in earnings is far from likely. Our risks dashboard should have the 3 risks we have identified for Aptech.

Additionally, Aptech 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.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like Aptech has some positive aspects to its business. However, while the company does have a high ROE, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing. This can be blamed on the fact that it reinvests only a small portion of its profits and pays out the rest as dividends. So far, we've only made a quick discussion around the company's earnings growth. To gain further insights into Aptech's past profit growth, check out this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.

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