Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 54% over the last 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Biogen's ROE.
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 To Calculate Return On Equity?
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 Biogen is:
19% = US$2.4b ÷ US$13b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.19.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
Biogen's Earnings Growth And 19% ROE
To start with, Biogen's ROE looks acceptable. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 25%. Moreover, Biogen's net income shrunk at a rate of 9.5%over the past five years. Bear in mind, the company does have a high ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. Therefore, the shrinking earnings could be the result of other factors. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
So, as a next step, we compared Biogen's performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 28% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Is BIIB fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Biogen Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Biogen doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business, which doesn't explain why the company's earnings have shrunk if it is retaining all of its profits. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.
On the whole, we do feel that Biogen has some positive attributes. However, while the company does have a decent ROE and a high profit retention, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering growth. Having said that, we studied the latest analyst forecasts, and found that analysts are expecting the company's earnings growth to improve slightly. The company's existing shareholders might have some respite after all. 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.
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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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