With its stock down 7.5% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Sejong Medical (KOSDAQ:258830). We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Sejong Medical's ROE today.
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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
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 Sejong Medical is:
4.6% = ₩2.0b ÷ ₩44b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each ₩1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made ₩0.05 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. 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.
Sejong Medical's Earnings Growth And 4.6% ROE
It is hard to argue that Sejong Medical's ROE is much good in and of itself. Even when compared to the industry average of 11%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. Thus, the low net income growth of 4.4% seen by Sejong Medical over the past five years could probably be the result of it having a lower ROE.
We then compared Sejong Medical's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 11% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Sejong Medical's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Sejong Medical Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Sejong Medical's low three-year median payout ratio of 23% (or a retention ratio of 77%) should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth. This should be reflected in its earnings growth number, but that's not the case. Therefore, there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.
In addition, Sejong Medical only recently started paying a dividend so the management must have decided the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Sejong Medical can be open to many interpretations. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. To know the 5 risks we have identified for Sejong Medical visit our risks dashboard for free.
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