Most readers would already be aware that Kopla's (KOSDAQ:126600) stock increased significantly by 23% over the past three months. However, we decided to pay attention to the company's fundamentals which don't appear to give a clear sign about the company's financial health. In this article, we decided to focus on Kopla'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.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 Kopla is:
8.6% = ₩9.9b ÷ ₩115b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every ₩1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated ₩0.09 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. Assuming everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.
Kopla's Earnings Growth And 8.6% ROE
At first glance, Kopla's ROE doesn't look very promising. Yet, a closer study shows that the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 8.2%. But Kopla saw a five year net income decline of 8.7% over the past five years. Remember, the company's ROE is a bit low to begin with. Therefore, the decline in earnings could also be the result of this.
That being said, we compared Kopla's performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 7.6% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. 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 Kopla is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Kopla Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Kopla's low three-year median payout ratio of 17% (implying that it retains the remaining 83% of its profits) comes as a surprise when you pair it with the shrinking earnings. This typically shouldn't be the case when a company is retaining most of its earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For instance, the business has faced some headwinds.
In addition, Kopla has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Kopla can be open to many interpretations. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. 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 4 risks we have identified for Kopla visit our risks dashboard for free.
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