Does Gresham Technologies plc's (LON:GHT) Weak Fundamentals Mean That The Market Could Correct Its Share Price?
Gresham Technologies (LON:GHT) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 28% over the last three months. We, however wanted to have a closer look at its key financial indicators as the markets usually pay for long-term fundamentals, and in this case, they don't look very promising. In this article, we decided to focus on Gresham Technologies' 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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
Check out our latest analysis for Gresham Technologies
How Is ROE Calculated?
Return on equity 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 Gresham Technologies is:
2.4% = UK£1.1m ÷ UK£47m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £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. 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. 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.
Gresham Technologies' Earnings Growth And 2.4% ROE
It is quite clear that Gresham Technologies' ROE is rather low. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 8.8%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 36% seen by Gresham Technologies was possibly a result of it having a lower ROE. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For example, the business has allocated capital poorly, or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
That being said, we compared Gresham Technologies' 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 13% in the same period.
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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is GHT fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Gresham Technologies Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
With a high LTM (or last twelve month) payout ratio of 56% (implying that 44% of the profits are retained), most of Gresham Technologies' profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run.
Moreover, Gresham Technologies has been paying dividends for five years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer consistent dividends even though earnings have been shrinking.
Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Gresham Technologies. The company has seen a lack of earnings growth as a result of retaining very little profits and whatever little it does retain, is being reinvested at a very low rate of return. So far, we've only made a quick discussion around the company's earnings growth. To gain further insights into Gresham Technologies' past profit growth, check out this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.
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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.
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