Ruby Tech (GTSM:8048) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 10% over the last three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Ruby Tech's ROE today.
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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How To 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 Ruby Tech is:
11% = NT$91m ÷ NT$832m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each NT$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made NT$0.11 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. 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 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.
Ruby Tech's Earnings Growth And 11% ROE
To start with, Ruby Tech's ROE looks acceptable. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 9.7%. As you might expect, the 7.0% net income decline reported by Ruby Tech is a bit of a surprise. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering 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.
So, as a next step, we compared Ruby Tech's performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 1.5% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. 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 Ruby Tech is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Ruby Tech Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Ruby Tech has a high three-year median payout ratio of 89% (that is, it is retaining 11% 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 4 risks we have identified for Ruby Tech.
Moreover, Ruby Tech has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth.
On the whole, we do feel that Ruby Tech has some positive attributes. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which means that investors aren't reaping the benefits of the high rate of return. Up till now, we've only made a short study of the company's growth data. To gain further insights into Ruby Tech'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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