Karat Packaging Inc.'s (NASDAQ:KRT) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 15, 2022
NasdaqGS:KRT
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Karat Packaging (NASDAQ:KRT) has had a rough three months with its share price down 19%. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. In this article, we decided to focus on Karat Packaging'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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for Karat Packaging

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Karat Packaging is:

14% = US$18m ÷ US$125m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.14 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Karat Packaging's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE

To start with, Karat Packaging's ROE looks acceptable. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 19%, we aren't very excited. That being the case, the significant five-year 70% net income growth reported by Karat Packaging comes as a pleasant surprise. We believe that there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings 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. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this certainly also provides some context to the high earnings growth seen by the company.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Karat Packaging's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 12% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
NasdaqGS:KRT Past Earnings Growth January 15th 2022

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is Karat Packaging fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Karat Packaging Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

While the company did pay out a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. This is likely what's driving the high earnings growth number discussed above.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Karat Packaging's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business at a moderate rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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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