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Is Ultra Electronics Holdings plc's (LON:ULE) Latest Stock Performance A Reflection Of Its Financial Health?

·4 min read

Ultra Electronics Holdings (LON:ULE) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 38% over the last three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Ultra Electronics Holdings' ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Ultra Electronics Holdings

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity 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 Ultra Electronics Holdings is:

20% = UK£97m ÷ UK£498m (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.20 in profit.

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. 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 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 Ultra Electronics Holdings' Earnings Growth And 20% ROE

At first glance, Ultra Electronics Holdings seems to have a decent ROE. Especially when compared to the industry average of 9.1% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. Probably as a result of this, Ultra Electronics Holdings was able to see a decent growth of 14% over the last five years.

As a next step, we compared Ultra Electronics Holdings' net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 4.6%.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about Ultra Electronics Holdings''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Ultra Electronics Holdings Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

While Ultra Electronics Holdings has a three-year median payout ratio of 55% (which means it retains 45% of profits), the company has still seen a fair bit of earnings growth in the past, meaning that its high payout ratio hasn't hampered its ability to grow.

Moreover, Ultra Electronics Holdings is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 43% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Ultra Electronics Holdings' performance has been quite good. In particular, its high ROE is quite noteworthy and also the probable explanation behind its considerable earnings growth. Yet, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Which means that the company has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's not too bad. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.