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Do Fundamentals Have Any Role To Play In Driving Biogen Inc.'s (NASDAQ:BIIB) Stock Up Recently?

Biogen's (NASDAQ:BIIB) stock is up by 3.0% over the past week. As most would know, long-term fundamentals have a strong correlation with market price movements, 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Biogen's ROE.

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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Biogen

How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

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So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Biogen is:

22% = US$3.0b ÷ US$13b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.22 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 Biogen's Earnings Growth And 22% ROE

First thing first, we like that Biogen has an impressive ROE. Further, even comparing with the industry average if 22%, the company's ROE is quite respectable. However, while Biogen has a pretty respectable ROE, its five year net income decline rate was 11%. So, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

However, when we compared Biogen's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 35% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for BIIB? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Biogen Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Biogen doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that the company is keeping all of its profits, which makes us wonder why it is retaining its earnings if it can't use them to grow its business. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Summary

In total, it does look like Biogen has some positive aspects to its business. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. With that said, we studied current analyst estimates and discovered that analysts expect the company's earnings growth to improve slightly. The company's existing shareholders might have some respite after all. 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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