Socket Mobile's (NASDAQ:SCKT) stock up by 4.0% over the past month. However, the company's financials look a bit inconsistent and market outcomes are ultimately driven by long-term fundamentals, meaning that the stock could head in either direction. Specifically, we decided to study Socket Mobile's ROE in this article.
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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
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 Socket Mobile is:
2.4% = US$410k ÷ US$17m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
The 'return' is the profit 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 $0.02 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. 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Socket Mobile's Earnings Growth And 2.4% ROE
It is quite clear that Socket Mobile's ROE is rather low. Even when compared to the industry average of 10%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. For this reason, Socket Mobile's five year net income decline of 61% is not surprising given its lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.
That being said, we compared Socket Mobile's performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 19% in the same period.
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). 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 Socket Mobile is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Socket Mobile Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Overall, we have mixed feelings about Socket Mobile. 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. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. To know the 4 risks we have identified for Socket Mobile visit our risks dashboard for free.
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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