It is hard to get excited after looking at Biogen’s (NASDAQ:BIIB) recent performance, when its stock has declined 7.7% 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. Specifically, we decided to study Biogen’s ROE in this article.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company’s management is utilizing the company’s capital. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company’s shareholders.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
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 Biogen is:
22% = US$3.0b ÷ US$13b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).
The ‘return’ is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder’s investments, the company generates a profit of $0.22.
What Has ROE Got To Do With 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 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
Firstly, we acknowledge that Biogen has a significantly high ROE. Additionally, a comparison with the average industry ROE of 23% also portrays the company’s ROE in a good light. 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. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
So, as a next step, we compared Biogen’s performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 26% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is BIIB fairly valued? This infographic on the company’s intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
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. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.
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. Sure enough, this could bring some relief to shareholders. 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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