Chico's FAS' (NYSE:CHS) stock is up by a considerable 18% over the past week. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on Chico's FAS' ROE.
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 Chico's FAS is:
21% = US$46m ÷ US$222m (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2022).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax 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 $0.21 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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 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 Chico's FAS' Earnings Growth And 21% ROE
To start with, Chico's FAS' ROE looks acceptable. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 33% does temper our expectations. Further research shows that Chico's FAS' net income has shrunk at a rate of 58% over the last five years. Bear in mind, the company does have a high ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. Therefore, the shrinking earnings could be the result of other factors. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
That being said, we compared Chico's FAS' performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 28% in the same period.
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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Chico's FAS is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Chico's FAS Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Chico's FAS 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.
In total, it does look like Chico's FAS has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a respectable rate of return and is reinvesting a huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. While we won't completely dismiss the company, what we would do, is try to ascertain how risky the business is to make a more informed decision around the company. To know the 2 risks we have identified for Chico's FAS visit our risks dashboard for free.
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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.