# Level Biotechnology Inc.'s (GTSM:3118) Stock Is Going Strong: Have Financials A Role To Play?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 06, 2021

Level Biotechnology's (GTSM:3118) stock is up by a considerable 12% over the past three months. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Level Biotechnology'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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Level Biotechnology

### 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 Level Biotechnology is:

11% = NT\$58m ÷ NT\$529m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every NT\$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn NT\$0.11 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. 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. 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.

### Level Biotechnology's Earnings Growth And 11% ROE

At first glance, Level Biotechnology seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 8.5%. As you might expect, the 11% net income decline reported by Level Biotechnology is a bit of a surprise. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

That being said, we compared Level Biotechnology'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 12% in the same period.

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Level Biotechnology's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

### Is Level Biotechnology Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

With a high three-year median payout ratio of 89% (implying that 11% of the profits are retained), most of Level Biotechnology's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. 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 Level Biotechnology visit our risks dashboard for free.

In addition, Level Biotechnology has been paying dividends over a period of eight years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is preferred by the management even though earnings have been in decline.

### Conclusion

In total, it does look like Level Biotechnology has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return. Investors could have benefitted from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. As discussed earlier, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. So far, we've only made a quick discussion around the company's earnings growth. To gain further insights into Level Biotechnology's past profit growth, check out this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.

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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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