It is hard to get excited after looking at LHC Group's (NASDAQ:LHCG) recent performance, when its stock has declined 32% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Particularly, we will be paying attention to LHC Group's ROE today.
Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
ROE 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 LHC Group is:
8.3% = US$141m ÷ US$1.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.08 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. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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 LHC Group's Earnings Growth And 8.3% ROE
On the face of it, LHC Group's ROE is not much to talk about. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 18% either. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that LHC Group grew its net income at a significant rate of 28% in the last five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that LHC Group's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 16% in the same period, which is great to see.NasdaqGS:LHCG Past Earnings Growth October 7th 2021
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about LHC Group's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is LHC Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
LHC Group doesn't pay any dividend to its shareholders, meaning that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This is likely what's driving the high earnings growth number discussed above.
In total, it does look like LHC Group has some positive aspects to its business. Despite its low rate of return, the fact that the company reinvests a very high portion of its profits into its business, no doubt contributed to its high earnings growth. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page 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.
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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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