Can Juniper Networks, Inc.'s (NYSE:JNPR) Weak Financials Pull The Plug On The Stock's Current Momentum On Its Share Price?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 14, 2021

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 6.4% over the last month. However, in this article, we decided to focus on its weak fundamentals, as long-term financial performance of a business is what ultimatley dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Juniper Networks' ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Juniper Networks

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 Juniper Networks is:

8.7% = US$395m ÷ US$4.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.09.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.

Juniper Networks' Earnings Growth And 8.7% ROE

At first glance, Juniper Networks' ROE doesn't look very promising. However, given that the company's ROE is similar to the average industry ROE of 8.5%, we may spare it some thought. Having said that, Juniper Networks' five year net income decline rate was 3.4%. Bear in mind, the company does have a slightly low ROE. Hence, this goes some way in explaining the shrinking earnings.

However, when we compared Juniper Networks' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 1.8% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

NYSE:JNPR Past Earnings Growth January 14th 2021

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Is Juniper Networks fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Juniper Networks Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Juniper Networks has a high three-year median payout ratio of 70% (that is, it is retaining 30% of its profits). This suggests that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This goes some way in explaining why its earnings have been shrinking. With only a little being reinvested into the business, earnings growth would obviously be low or non-existent. You can see the 2 risks we have identified for Juniper Networks by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

In addition, Juniper Networks has been paying dividends over a period of six years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is preferred by the management even though earnings have been in decline. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 42% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Juniper Networks' payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 12%, over the same period.

Conclusion

On the whole, Juniper Networks' performance is quite a big let-down. As a result of its low ROE and lack of mich reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. 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 latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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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