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Are ESCO Technologies Inc.'s (NYSE:ESE) Mixed Financials The Reason For Its Gloomy Performance on The Stock Market?
It is hard to get excited after looking at ESCO Technologies' (NYSE:ESE) recent performance, when its stock has declined 7.6% over the past month. It is possible that the markets have ignored the company's differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. In this article, we decided to focus on ESCO Technologies' 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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
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How To Calculate Return On Equity?
ROE 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 ESCO Technologies is:
8.0% = US$86m ÷ US$1.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).
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 $0.08 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.
ESCO Technologies' Earnings Growth And 8.0% ROE
When you first look at it, ESCO Technologies' ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 13%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 6.8% seen by ESCO Technologies was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
However, when we compared ESCO Technologies' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 7.8% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is ESE fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is ESCO Technologies Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
ESCO Technologies' low three-year median payout ratio of 13% (or a retention ratio of 87%) over the last three years should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth but the company's earnings have actually shrunk. This typically shouldn't be the case when a company is retaining most of its earnings. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For example, the company's business may be deteriorating.
Moreover, ESCO Technologies 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 feel that the performance shown by ESCO Technologies can be open to many interpretations. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
ESCO Technologies Inc. produces and supplies engineered products and systems for industrial and commercial markets worldwide.
Flawless balance sheet with proven track record.