Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 18% over the last month. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Lam Research'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. 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 Lam Research is:
65% = US$4.9b ÷ US$7.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.65 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For 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. 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.
Lam Research's Earnings Growth And 65% ROE
To begin with, Lam Research has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 19% which is quite remarkable. This probably laid the groundwork for Lam Research's moderate 20% net income growth seen over the past five years.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Lam Research's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 27% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is LRCX fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Lam Research Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
In Lam Research's case, its respectable earnings growth can probably be explained by its low three-year median payout ratio of 21% (or a retention ratio of 79%), which suggests that the company is investing most of its profits to grow its business.
Additionally, Lam Research has paid dividends over a period of nine years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 19% of its profits over the next three years. However, Lam Research's future ROE is expected to decline to 43% despite there being not much change anticipated in the company's payout ratio.
In total, we are pretty happy with Lam Research's performance. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a respectable growth in its earnings. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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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