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With its stock down 31% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN). We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, and therefore we decided to pay more attention to the company's financial performance. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Illumina's 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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
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 Illumina is:
6.4% = US$701m ÷ US$11b (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2022).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.06.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
Illumina's Earnings Growth And 6.4% ROE
On the face of it, Illumina's 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 16%. Therefore, Illumina's flat earnings over the past five years can possibly be explained by the low ROE amongst other factors.
We then compared Illumina's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 33% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Illumina is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Illumina Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Illumina doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that the company is keeping all of its profits, which makes us wonder why it is retaining its earnings if it can't use them to grow its business. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about Illumina. 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. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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. 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.