Vertex Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:VRTX) stock is up by a considerable 29% over the past three months. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Vertex Pharmaceuticals' 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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Vertex Pharmaceuticals is:
23% = US$2.2b ÷ US$9.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.23 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals' Earnings Growth And 23% ROE
To begin with, Vertex Pharmaceuticals has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 15% which is quite remarkable. As a result, Vertex Pharmaceuticals' exceptional 45% net income growth seen over the past five years, doesn't come as a surprise.
As a next step, we compared Vertex Pharmaceuticals' net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 22%.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for VRTX? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Vertex Pharmaceuticals Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Given that Vertex Pharmaceuticals doesn't pay any dividend to its shareholders, we infer that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits to grow its business.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Vertex Pharmaceuticals' performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.