Kulicke and Soffa Industries (NASDAQ:KLIC) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 59% over the last three months. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on Kulicke and Soffa Industries' ROE.
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 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 Kulicke and Soffa Industries is:
11% = US$87m ÷ US$808m (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2021).
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 $0.11 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Kulicke and Soffa Industries' Earnings Growth And 11% ROE
To begin with, Kulicke and Soffa Industries seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 12% the company's ROE looks quite decent. However, while Kulicke and Soffa Industries has a pretty respectable ROE, its five year net income decline rate was 3.6% . We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.
However, when we compared Kulicke and Soffa Industries' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 14% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is Kulicke and Soffa Industries fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
Is Kulicke and Soffa Industries Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Kulicke and Soffa Industries' declining earnings is not surprising given how the company is spending most of its profits in paying dividends, judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 58% (or a retention ratio of 42%). The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run. Our risks dashboard should have the 2 risks we have identified for Kulicke and Soffa Industries.
Additionally, Kulicke and Soffa Industries has paid dividends over a period of three years, which means that the company's management is rather focused on keeping up its dividend payments, regardless of the shrinking earnings.
Overall, we feel that Kulicke and Soffa Industries certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return. Investors could have benefitted from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. As discussed earlier, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. 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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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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