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

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With its stock down 4.3% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY). 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 Workday'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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Workday

How To 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 Workday is:

0.7% = US$31m ÷ US$4.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. 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?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

A Side By Side comparison of Workday's Earnings Growth And 0.7% ROE

As you can see, Workday's ROE looks pretty weak. Even compared to the average industry ROE of 11%, the company's ROE is quite dismal. Although, we can see that Workday saw a modest net income growth of 11% over the past five years. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

We then compared Workday's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 19% 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. 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. What is WDAY worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether WDAY is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Workday Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Given that Workday doesn't pay any dividend to its shareholders, we infer that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits to grow its business.

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that Workday has some positive attributes. Namely, its respectable earnings growth, which it achieved due to it retaining most of its profits. However, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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.

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