It is hard to get excited after looking at Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) recent performance, when its stock has declined 15% over the past month. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study Tesla'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 Is ROE Calculated?
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 Tesla is:
5.1% = US$1.3b ÷ US$24b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.05.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. 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.
Tesla's Earnings Growth And 5.1% ROE
At first glance, Tesla's ROE doesn't look very promising. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 16%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that Tesla grew its net income at a significant rate of 34% in the last five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.
As a next step, we compared Tesla'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 3.4%.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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 Tesla is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Tesla Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Overall, we feel that Tesla certainly does have some positive factors to consider. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. The latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to maintain its current growth rate. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.
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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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