Aptitude Software Group plc's (LON:APTD) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

·4 min read

Most readers would already be aware that Aptitude Software Group's (LON:APTD) stock increased significantly by 14% over the past three months. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Aptitude Software Group's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Aptitude Software Group

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Aptitude Software Group is:

14% = UK£7.4m ÷ UK£53m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.14.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

Aptitude Software Group's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE

To start with, Aptitude Software Group's ROE looks acceptable. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 9.5% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. Despite this, Aptitude Software Group's five year net income growth was quite flat over the past five years. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that's limiting the company's growth. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

As a next step, we compared Aptitude Software Group's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 4.8% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. 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 Aptitude Software Group is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Aptitude Software Group Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Despite having a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 50% (meaning the company retains50% of profits) in the last three-year period, Aptitude Software Group's earnings growth was more or les flat. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

In addition, Aptitude Software Group 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 46%. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 14%.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Aptitude Software Group certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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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