Has Korn Ferry's (NYSE:KFY) Impressive Stock Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Fundamentals?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 31, 2020
NYSE:KFY

Most readers would already be aware that Korn Ferry's (NYSE:KFY) stock increased significantly by 11% over the past month. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Korn Ferry's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Korn Ferry

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Korn Ferry is:

8.7% = US$107m ÷ US$1.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2020).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.09.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.

Korn Ferry's Earnings Growth And 8.7% ROE

When you first look at it, Korn Ferry's ROE doesn't look that attractive. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 11%. Although, we can see that Korn Ferry saw a modest net income growth of 19% over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

Next, on comparing Korn Ferry's net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 17% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:KFY Past Earnings Growth August 31st 2020

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is KFY fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Korn Ferry Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Korn Ferry has a low three-year median payout ratio of 21%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 79% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.

Moreover, Korn Ferry is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of six years of paying a dividend. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 15% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the lower expected payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Korn Ferry 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. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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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