Itcen (KOSDAQ:124500) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 7.7% over the last month. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. Specifically, we decided to study Itcen's ROE in this article.
ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How Do You 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 Itcen is:
6.1% = ₩15b ÷ ₩240b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax 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 ₩0.06 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.
Itcen's Earnings Growth And 6.1% ROE
When you first look at it, Itcen's ROE doesn't look that attractive. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 9.5% either. In spite of this, Itcen was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 62% in the last five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
As a next step, we compared Itcen's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 15%.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. 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 Itcen is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Itcen Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
On the whole, we do feel that Itcen has some positive attributes. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. 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 3 risks we have identified for Itcen visit our risks dashboard for free.
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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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