It is hard to get excited after looking at CyberOptics' (NASDAQ:CYBE) recent performance, when its stock has declined 35% over the past three months. We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Particularly, we will be paying attention to CyberOptics' 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 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 CyberOptics is:
7.0% = US$4.4m ÷ US$64m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.07 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. 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 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.
CyberOptics' Earnings Growth And 7.0% ROE
At first glance, CyberOptics' ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 11% either. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 4.0% seen by CyberOptics was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.
However, when we compared CyberOptics' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 15% 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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is CyberOptics fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
Is CyberOptics Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about CyberOptics' performance. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.
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