With its stock down 16% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Natural Alternatives International (NASDAQ:NAII). However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Natural Alternatives International'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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
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 Natural Alternatives International is:
13% = US$9.6m ÷ US$76m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).
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 $0.13 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. 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.
Natural Alternatives International's Earnings Growth And 13% ROE
At first glance, Natural Alternatives International seems to have a decent ROE. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 17%, we aren't very excited. Needless to say, the 24% net income shrink rate seen by Natural Alternatives Internationalover the past five years is a huge dampener. Bear in mind, the company does have a high ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. 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 Natural Alternatives International's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 23% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Natural Alternatives International is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Natural Alternatives International Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
In total, it does look like Natural Alternatives International has some positive aspects to its business. However, while the company does have a decent ROE and a high profit retention, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering growth. While we won't completely dismiss the company, what we would do, is try to ascertain how risky the business is to make a more informed decision around the company. You can see the 4 risks we have identified for Natural Alternatives International by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.
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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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