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Innoviva, Inc. (NASDAQ:INVA) Has Fared Decently But Fundamentals Look Uncertain: What Lies Ahead For The Stock?

Most readers would already know that Innoviva's (NASDAQ:INVA) stock increased by 2.5% over the past month. However, the company's financials look a bit inconsistent and market outcomes are ultimately driven by long-term fundamentals, meaning that the stock could head in either direction. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Innoviva's ROE today.

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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for Innoviva

How To 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 Innoviva is:

7.9% = US$50m ÷ US$627m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. 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 Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. Assuming everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

Innoviva's Earnings Growth And 7.9% ROE

When you first look at it, Innoviva's ROE doesn't look that attractive. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 11% either. For this reason, Innoviva's five year net income decline of 12% is not surprising given its lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.

However, when we compared Innoviva's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 6.4% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is INVA worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether INVA is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Innoviva Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Innoviva doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that potentially all of its profits are being reinvested in the business, which doesn't explain why the company's earnings have shrunk if it is retaining all of its profits. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Conclusion

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Innoviva's performance. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. You can see the 4 risks we have identified for Innoviva by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

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.