Nasdaq-Listed Companies

Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:HSII) Stock is Soaring But Financials Seem Inconsistent: Will The Uptrend Continue?

Most readers would already be aware that Heidrick & Struggles International's (NASDAQ:HSII) stock increased significantly by 9.1% over the past month. However, we wonder if the company's inconsistent financials would have any adverse impact on the current share price momentum. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Heidrick & Struggles International's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

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 Heidrick & Struggles International is:

5.0% = US$15m ÷ US$300m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.05 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 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Heidrick & Struggles International's Earnings Growth And 5.0% ROE

When you first look at it, Heidrick & Struggles International's ROE doesn't look that attractive. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 16%. As a result, Heidrick & Struggles International's flat net income growth over the past five years doesn't come as a surprise given its lower ROE.

As a next step, we compared Heidrick & Struggles International's net income growth with the industry and discovered that the industry saw an average growth of 15% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NasdaqGS:HSII Past Earnings Growth October 2nd 2021

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). 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 Heidrick & Struggles International is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Heidrick & Struggles International Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Heidrick & Struggles International's low three-year median payout ratio of 20% (implying that the company keeps80% of its income) should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth and this should be reflected in its growth number, but that's not the case.

In addition, Heidrick & Struggles International has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth.

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Heidrick & Struggles International's performance. 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.

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.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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