It is hard to get excited after looking at Cass Information Systems' (NASDAQ:CASS) recent performance, when its stock has declined 12% over the past three months. 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Cass Information Systems' ROE.
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.
How Is ROE Calculated?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Cass Information Systems is:
14% = US$30m ÷ US$217m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 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 $0.14.
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. 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Cass Information Systems' Earnings Growth And 14% ROE
To start with, Cass Information Systems' ROE looks acceptable. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 16%. Given the circumstances, we can't help but wonder why Cass Information Systems saw little to no growth in the past five years. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Cass Information Systems' reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 15% in the same period, which is not something we like 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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for CASS? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report
Is Cass Information Systems Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 54% (implying that the company keeps only 46% of its income) of its business to reinvest into its business), most of Cass Information Systems' profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the absence of growth in earnings.
Moreover, Cass Information Systems has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth.
In total, it does look like Cass Information Systems has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return. Investors could have benefitted from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. As discussed earlier, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Until now, we have only just grazed the surface of the company's past performance by looking at the company's fundamentals. To gain further insights into Cass Information Systems' past profit growth, check out this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.
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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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