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Can Mixed Fundamentals Have A Negative Impact on Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP) Current Share Price Momentum?

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Most readers would already be aware that Yelp's (NYSE:YELP) stock increased significantly by 8.1% over the past week. However, we wonder if the company's inconsistent financials would have any adverse impact on the current share price momentum. In this article, we decided to focus on Yelp's ROE.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Yelp

How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE 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 Yelp is:

2.3% = US$18m ÷ US$803m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.02 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Yelp's Earnings Growth And 2.3% ROE

It is hard to argue that Yelp's ROE is much good in and of itself. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 11%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. For this reason, Yelp's five year net income decline of 6.5% is not surprising given its lower ROE. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

However, when we compared Yelp's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 15% 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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for YELP? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Yelp Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Yelp 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. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Yelp 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. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.

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.

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

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