With its stock down 11% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Conduent (NASDAQ:CNDT). 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 Conduent'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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Conduent is:
8.5% = US$119m ÷ US$1.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.08 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For 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 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.
Conduent's Earnings Growth And 8.5% ROE
At first glance, Conduent's ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 17% either. However, the moderate 14% net income growth seen by Conduent over the past five years is definitely a positive. So, the growth in the company's earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
As a next step, we compared Conduent's net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate of 15% in the same period.
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. 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 Conduent is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Conduent Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Conduent doesn't pay any dividend currently which essentially means that it has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This definitely contributes to the decent earnings growth number that we discussed above.
On the whole, we do feel that Conduent has some positive attributes. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink in the future. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.
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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.