Is Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc.'s (NYSE:BFAM) Stock Price Struggling As A Result Of Its Mixed Financials?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 18, 2022
NYSE:BFAM
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It is hard to get excited after looking at Bright Horizons Family Solutions' (NYSE:BFAM) recent performance, when its stock has declined 2.8% over the past week. It is possible that the markets have ignored the company's differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Specifically, we decided to study Bright Horizons Family Solutions' ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Bright Horizons Family Solutions

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Bright Horizons Family Solutions is:

6.0% = US$70m ÷ US$1.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.06 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. 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.

Bright Horizons Family Solutions' Earnings Growth And 6.0% ROE

When you first look at it, Bright Horizons Family Solutions' 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 9.8%. For this reason, Bright Horizons Family Solutions' five year net income decline of 16% is not surprising given its lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

So, as a next step, we compared Bright Horizons Family Solutions' performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 16% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:BFAM Past Earnings Growth February 18th 2022

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is BFAM fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Bright Horizons Family Solutions Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Because Bright Horizons Family Solutions 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 could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Bright Horizons Family Solutions' performance. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. 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. 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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