What Lies Ahead For The Stock?

Software

Most readers would already know that Aptitude Software Group’s (LON:APTD) stock increased by 7.6% over the past three months. Given that the stock prices usually follow long-term business performance, we wonder if the company’s mixed financials could have any adverse effect on its current price price movement. Specifically, we decided to study Aptitude Software Group’s ROE in this article.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

View our latest analysis for Aptitude Software Group

How Do You 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 Aptitude Software Group is:

4.3% = UK£2.6m ÷ UK£61m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

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 £0.04.

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.

Aptitude Software Group’s Earnings Growth And 4.3% ROE

At first glance, Aptitude Software Group’s ROE doesn’t look very promising. We then compared the company’s ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE was lower than the industry average of 8.1%. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 17% seen by Aptitude Software Group was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.

That being said, we compared Aptitude Software Group’s performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 13% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth

past-earnings-growth

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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is APTD fairly valued? This infographic on the company’s intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Aptitude Software Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

In spite of a normal three-year median payout ratio of 50% (that is, a retention ratio of 50%), the fact that Aptitude Software Group’s earnings have shrunk is quite puzzling. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For example, the company’s business may be deteriorating.

Moreover, Aptitude Software Group has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have a perceived that shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 28% over the next three years. The fact that the company’s ROE is expected to rise to 16% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by the Aptitude Software Group can be open to many interpretations. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its earnings growth. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company’s earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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