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Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ:QNST)?

·3-min read

It is hard to get excited after looking at QuinStreet's (NASDAQ:QNST) recent performance, when its stock has declined 14% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. In this article, we decided to focus on QuinStreet's 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 QuinStreet

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 QuinStreet is:

1.0% = US$3.1m ÷ US$301m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.01 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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 QuinStreet's Earnings Growth And 1.0% ROE

It is quite clear that QuinStreet's ROE is rather low. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 6.4%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. However, the moderate 11% net income growth seen by QuinStreet over the past five years is definitely a positive. We believe that there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

We then compared QuinStreet's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 17% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. 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 QuinStreet is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is QuinStreet Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

QuinStreet doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that all of its profits are being reinvested in the business, which explains the fair bit of earnings growth the company has seen.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that QuinStreet certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Specifically, its fairly high earnings growth number, which no doubt was backed by the company's high earnings retention. Still, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping a lot of benefit to the investors. 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.

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

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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