Could The Market Be Wrong About Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:OLED) Given Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Universal Display’s (NASDAQ:OLED) recent performance, when its stock has declined 6.9% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might gather that its strong financials could mean that the stock could potentially see an increase in value in the long-term, given how markets usually reward companies with good financial health. In this article, we decided to focus on Universal Display’s 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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder’s equity.

See our latest analysis for Universal Display

How Do You 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 Universal Display is:

19% = US$187m ÷ US$992m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The ‘return’ is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders’ equity, the company generated $0.19 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. 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 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.

Universal Display’s Earnings Growth And 19% ROE

At first glance, Universal Display seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company’s ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 15%. Probably as a result of this, Universal Display was able to see an impressive net income growth of 22% over the last five years. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. Such as – high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

As a next step, we compared Universal Display’s net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 16%.

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. If you’re wondering about Universal Display’s’s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Universal Display Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Universal Display’s ‘ three-year median payout ratio is on the lower side at 16% implying that it is retaining a higher percentage (84%) of its profits. So it looks like Universal Display is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business, which shows in its earnings growth.

Moreover, Universal Display is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of five years of paying a dividend. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company’s future payout ratio is expected to drop to 9.2% over the next three years. Regardless, the ROE is not expected to change much for the company despite the lower expected payout ratio.

Conclusion

Overall, we are quite pleased with Universal Display’s performance. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. The latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to maintain its current growth rate. 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.

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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