Is National Instruments Corporation's (NASDAQ:NATI) Recent Price Movement Underpinned By Its Weak Fundamentals?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 03, 2021
NasdaqGS:NATI
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With its stock down 6.5% over the past month, it is easy to disregard National Instruments (NASDAQ:NATI). It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. In this article, we decided to focus on National Instruments' 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.

Check out our latest analysis for National Instruments

How Do You 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 National Instruments is:

4.4% = US$54m ÷ US$1.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.04 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.

National Instruments' Earnings Growth And 4.4% ROE

On the face of it, National Instruments' ROE is not much to talk about. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 14%. National Instruments was still able to see a decent net income growth of 7.7% over the past five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

As a next step, we compared National Instruments' net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 14% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NasdaqGS:NATI Past Earnings Growth December 4th 2021

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is NATI fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is National Instruments Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

National Instruments has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 81%, meaning that it is left with only 19% to reinvest into its business. This implies that the company has been able to achieve decent earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Additionally, National Instruments has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 50% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 21% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about National Instruments' performance. While the company has posted a decent earnings growth, We do feel that the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings at a higher rate of return. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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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