It is hard to get excited after looking at XLMedia's (LON:XLM) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.0% over the past month. We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, and therefore we decided to pay more attention to the company's financial performance. Particularly, we will be paying attention to XLMedia's ROE today.
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.
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 XLMedia is:
5.2% = US$5.6m ÷ US$109m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.05 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.
XLMedia's Earnings Growth And 5.2% ROE
At first glance, XLMedia's ROE doesn't look very promising. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 22%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 39% seen by XLMedia over the last five years is not surprising. 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 XLMedia'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 1.9% 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 XLM fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is XLMedia Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
While the company did payout a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. This implies that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by XLMedia can be open to many interpretations. 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. 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.
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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.