Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN)?

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Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) has had a rough week with its share price down 8.4%. 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 Urban Outfitters’ ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company’s management is utilizing the company’s capital. Put another way, it reveals the company’s success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

Check out our latest analysis for Urban Outfitters

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 Urban Outfitters is:

17% = US$298m ÷ US$1.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2021).

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 $0.17 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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.

Urban Outfitters’ Earnings Growth And 17% ROE

To begin with, Urban Outfitters seems to have a respectable ROE. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 29%, we aren’t very excited. Needless to say, the 6.8% net income shrink rate seen by Urban Outfittersover the past five years is a huge dampener. Bear in mind, the company does have a high ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So there might be other reasons for the earnings to shrink. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

However, when we compared Urban Outfitters’ growth with the industry we found that while the company’s earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 17% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for URBN? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Urban Outfitters Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Urban Outfitters 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.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Urban Outfitters certainly does have some positive factors to consider. However, while the company does have a decent ROE and a high profit retention, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that’s hampering growth. Additionally, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to continue to see a similar decline in its earnings in the future as well. 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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