• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Columbia Sportswear Company’s (NASDAQ:COLM) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

It is hard to get excited after looking at Columbia Sportswear’s (NASDAQ:COLM) recent performance, when its stock has declined 3.8% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Columbia Sportswear’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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for Columbia Sportswear

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Columbia Sportswear is:

13% = US$251m ÷ US$1.9b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The ‘return’ is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders’ capital it has, the company made $0.13 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 Columbia Sportswear’s Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

To start with, Columbia Sportswear’s ROE looks acceptable. Even when compared to the industry average of 13% the company’s ROE looks quite decent. Despite the modest returns, Columbia Sportswear’s five year net income growth was quite low, averaging at only 2.9%. A few likely reasons that could be keeping earnings growth low are – the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

As a next step, we compared Columbia Sportswear’s net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company’s growth is lower than the industry average growth of 13% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NasdaqGS:COLM Past Earnings Growth April 22nd 2024

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock’s future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for COLM? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Columbia Sportswear Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Columbia Sportswear has a low three-year median payout ratio of 22% (meaning, the company keeps the remaining 78% of profits) which means that the company is retaining more of its earnings. This should be reflected in its earnings growth number, but that’s not the case. Therefore, there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

In addition, Columbia Sportswear has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 24%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Columbia Sportswear’s future ROE will be 13% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Summary

In total, it does look like Columbia Sportswear 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. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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.

Valuation is complex, but we’re helping make it simple.

Find out whether Columbia Sportswear is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

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

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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