Interlink Electronics (NASDAQ:LINK) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 22% over the last three months. However, we decided to pay attention to the company's fundamentals which don't appear to give a clear sign about the company's financial health. In this article, we decided to focus on Interlink Electronics' 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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How Is ROE Calculated?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Interlink Electronics is:
3.2% = US$296k ÷ US$9.1m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.03 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
Interlink Electronics' Earnings Growth And 3.2% ROE
It is hard to argue that Interlink Electronics' ROE is much good in and of itself. Even compared to the average industry ROE of 14%, the company's ROE is quite dismal. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 67% seen by Interlink Electronics over the last five years is not surprising. 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.
So, as a next step, we compared Interlink Electronics' performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 14% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Interlink Electronics''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Interlink Electronics Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Because Interlink Electronics doesn't pay any dividends, we infer that it is retaining all of its profits, which is rather perplexing when you consider the fact that there is no earnings growth to show for it. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Interlink Electronics can be open to many interpretations. 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. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. To know the 3 risks we have identified for Interlink Electronics visit our risks dashboard for free.
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.