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Has STEP Energy Services Ltd.'s (TSE:STEP) Impressive Stock Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Fundamentals?

STEP Energy Services' (TSE:STEP) stock is up by a considerable 28% over the past month. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. Particularly, we will be paying attention to STEP Energy Services' 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 STEP Energy Services

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 STEP Energy Services is:

16% = CA$38m ÷ CA$229m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every CA$1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated CA$0.16 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. 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.

STEP Energy Services' Earnings Growth And 16% ROE

At first glance, STEP Energy Services seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 15%. As you might expect, the 24% net income decline reported by STEP Energy Services is a bit of a surprise. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

However, when we compared STEP Energy Services' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 4.1% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. If you're wondering about STEP Energy Services''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is STEP Energy Services Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

STEP Energy Services doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business, which doesn't explain why the company's earnings have shrunk if it is retaining all of its profits. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Summary

Overall, we feel that STEP Energy Services certainly does have some positive factors to consider. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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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