TrueBlue, Inc.'s (NYSE:TBI) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 09, 2022
NYSE:TBI
Source: Shutterstock

With its stock down 5.9% over the past week, it is easy to disregard TrueBlue (NYSE:TBI). However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study TrueBlue's ROE in this article.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for TrueBlue

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 TrueBlue is:

13% = US$62m ÷ US$493m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.13 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. 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.

TrueBlue's Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

To start with, TrueBlue's ROE looks acceptable. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 16% does temper our expectations. Moreover, TrueBlue's net income shrunk at a rate of 20%over the past five years. Not to forget, the company does have a high ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. Hence there might be some other aspects that are causing earnings to shrink. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

However, when we compared TrueBlue's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 17% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:TBI Past Earnings Growth April 9th 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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is TrueBlue fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is TrueBlue Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Because TrueBlue doesn't pay any dividends, we infer that it is retaining all of its profits, which is rather perplexing when you consider the fact that there is no earnings growth to show for it. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Summary

Overall, we feel that TrueBlue certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a moderate ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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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