eHealth's (NASDAQ:EHTH) stock is up by a considerable 13% over the past month. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on eHealth's ROE.
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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
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 eHealth is:
9.8% = US$78m ÷ US$792m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.10 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 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.
eHealth's Earnings Growth And 9.8% ROE
When you first look at it, eHealth's ROE doesn't look that attractive. However, the fact that the its ROE is quite higher to the industry average of 8.1% doesn't go unnoticed by us. Particularly, the substantial 63% net income growth seen by eHealth over the past five years is impressive . Bear in mind, the company does have a moderately low ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is lower. So, there might well be other reasons for the earnings to grow. For example, it is possible that the broader industry is going through a high growth phase, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
We then compared eHealth's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 8.0% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is eHealth fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
Is eHealth Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
In total, we are pretty happy with eHealth's performance. In particular, it's great to see that the company has seen significant growth in its earnings backed by a respectable ROE and a high reinvestment rate. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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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