With its stock down 22% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Northern Technologies International (NASDAQ:NTIC). But if you pay close attention, you might gather that its strong financials could mean that the stock could potentially see an increase in value in the long-term, given how markets usually reward companies with good financial health. In this article, we decided to focus on Northern Technologies International's ROE.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
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 Northern Technologies International is:
13% = US$9.1m ÷ US$69m (Based on the trailing twelve months to February 2022).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.13.
What Has ROE Got To Do With 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 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.
Northern Technologies International's Earnings Growth And 13% ROE
To start with, Northern Technologies International's ROE looks acceptable. Even when compared to the industry average of 16% the company's ROE looks quite decent. This certainly adds some context to Northern Technologies International's moderate 5.9% net income growth seen over the past five years.
As a next step, we compared Northern Technologies International's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 7.7% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. 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 Northern Technologies International is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Northern Technologies International Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Northern Technologies International has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 30% (or a retention ratio of 70%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.
Additionally, Northern Technologies International has paid dividends over a period of four years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders.
On the whole, we feel that Northern Technologies International's performance has been quite good. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. As a result, the decent growth in its earnings is not surprising. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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.
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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.