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Most readers would already be aware that RCM Technologies' (NASDAQ:RCMT) stock increased significantly by 52% over the past three months. However, we wonder if the company's inconsistent financials would have any adverse impact on the current share price momentum. Particularly, we will be paying attention to RCM Technologies' ROE today.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
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 RCM Technologies is:
1.4% = US$331k ÷ US$23m (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 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 $0.01 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.
A Side By Side comparison of RCM Technologies' Earnings Growth And 1.4% ROE
It is hard to argue that RCM Technologies' ROE is much good in and of itself. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 16%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 47% seen by RCM Technologies was possibly a result of it having a lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
However, when we compared RCM Technologies' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 15% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. 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 RCM Technologies is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is RCM Technologies Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Because RCM Technologies 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 RCM Technologies 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. 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.
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.
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