Stock Analysis

Vista Outdoor Inc.'s (NYSE:VSTO) Stock is Soaring But Financials Seem Inconsistent: Will The Uptrend Continue?

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NYSE:VSTO
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Most readers would already be aware that Vista Outdoor's (NYSE:VSTO) stock increased significantly by 54% over the past three months. But the company's key financial indicators appear to be differing across the board and that makes us question whether or not the company's current share price momentum can be maintained. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Vista Outdoor's ROE today.

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.

View our latest analysis for Vista Outdoor

How Do You 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 Vista Outdoor is:

8.8% = US$58m ÷ US$659m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 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.

Why Is ROE Important For 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. 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.

Vista Outdoor's Earnings Growth And 8.8% ROE

At first glance, Vista Outdoor's ROE doesn't look very promising. 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 17%. For this reason, Vista Outdoor's five year net income decline of 22% is not surprising given its lower ROE. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.

However, when we compared Vista Outdoor's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 8.0% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:VSTO Past Earnings Growth February 11th 2021

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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 Vista Outdoor fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Vista Outdoor Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Vista Outdoor's performance. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its earnings growth. With that said, we studied current analyst estimates and discovered that analysts expect the company's earnings growth to improve slightly. The company's existing shareholders might have some respite after all. 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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