Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 11% over the last 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 Amazon.com’s ROE today.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder’s equity.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 Amazon.com is:
8.8% = US$12b ÷ US$131b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
The ‘return’ is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.09 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. 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 Amazon.com’s Earnings Growth And 8.8% ROE
On the face of it, Amazon.com’s ROE is not much to talk about. 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%. Despite this, surprisingly, Amazon.com saw an exceptional 36% net income growth over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. 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.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Amazon.com’s growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 29% in the same period, which is great to see.
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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. 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 Amazon.com is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Amazon.com Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Amazon.com 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 high earnings growth number that we discussed above.
Overall, we feel that Amazon.com certainly does have some positive factors to consider. 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, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company’s earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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.
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