Nasdaq Today – Could Fundamentals Be Driving The Momentum?
Most readers would already be aware that ICF International’s (NASDAQ:ICFI) stock increased significantly by 13% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company’s key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Particularly, we will be paying attention to ICF International’s ROE today.
ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company’s shareholders.
Check out our latest analysis for ICF International
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 ICF International is:
8.5% = US$62m ÷ US$727m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
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?
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 ICF International’s Earnings Growth And 8.5% ROE
When you first look at it, ICF 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 13%. However, the moderate 11% net income growth seen by ICF International over the past five years is definitely a positive. 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 ICF International’s reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 15% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. What is ICFI worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether ICFI is currently mispriced by the market.
Is ICF International Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
ICF International’s three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 16% (implying that it retains 84% of its income), which is on the lower side, so it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business.
Additionally, ICF International has paid dividends over a period of three years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Based on the latest analysts’ estimates, we found that the company’s future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 13%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that ICF International’s future ROE will be 9.9% which is again, similar to the current ROE.
In total, it does look like ICF International has some positive aspects to its business. That is, a decent growth in earnings backed by a high rate of reinvestment. However, we do feel that that earnings growth could have been higher if the business were to improve on the low ROE rate. Especially given how the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits. On studying current analyst estimates, we found that analysts expect the company to continue its recent growth streak. 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. 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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