With An ROE Of 6.47%, Has Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau AG’s (VIE:HST) Management Done Well?

The content of this article will benefit those of you who are starting to educate yourself about investing in the stock market and want a simplistic look at the return on Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau AG (VIE:HST) stock.

Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau AG (VIE:HST) generated a below-average return on equity of 6.47% in the past 12 months, while its industry returned 10.73%. An investor may attribute an inferior ROE to a relatively inefficient performance, and whilst this can often be the case, knowing the nuts and bolts of the ROE calculation may change that perspective and give you a deeper insight into HST’s past performance. Today I will look at how components such as financial leverage can influence ROE which may impact the sustainability of HST’s returns. View out our latest analysis for Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau

Breaking down Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau’s profit against the level of its shareholders’ equity. An ROE of 6.47% implies €0.065 returned on every €1 invested, so the higher the return, the better. Investors that are diversifying their portfolio based on industry may want to maximise their return in the Construction and Engineering sector by choosing the highest returning stock. But this can be misleading as each company has different costs of equity and also varying debt levels, which could artificially push up ROE whilst accumulating high interest expense.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau’s cost of equity is 8.62%. This means Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau’s returns actually do not cover its own cost of equity, with a discrepancy of -2.15%. This isn’t sustainable as it implies, very simply, that the company pays more for its capital than what it generates in return. ROE can be split up into three useful ratios: net profit margin, asset turnover, and financial leverage. This is called the Dupont Formula:

Dupont Formula

ROE = profit margin × asset turnover × financial leverage

ROE = (annual net profit ÷ sales) × (sales ÷ assets) × (assets ÷ shareholders’ equity)

ROE = annual net profit ÷ shareholders’ equity

WBAG:HST Last Perf June 26th 18
WBAG:HST Last Perf June 26th 18

Basically, profit margin measures how much of revenue trickles down into earnings which illustrates how efficient the business is with its cost management. The other component, asset turnover, illustrates how much revenue Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau can make from its asset base. Finally, financial leverage will be our main focus today. It shows how much of assets are funded by equity and can show how sustainable the company’s capital structure is. ROE can be inflated by disproportionately high levels of debt. This is also unsustainable due to the high interest cost that the company will also incur. Thus, we should look at Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau’s debt-to-equity ratio to examine sustainability of its returns. The most recent ratio is 43.55%, which is sensible and indicates Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau has not taken on too much leverage. Thus, we can conclude its current ROE is generated from its capacity to increase profit without a large debt burden.

WBAG:HST Historical Debt June 26th 18
WBAG:HST Historical Debt June 26th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is a simple yet informative ratio, illustrating the various components that each measure the quality of the overall stock. Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau’s ROE is underwhelming relative to the industry average, and its returns were also not strong enough to cover its own cost of equity. However, ROE is not likely to be inflated by excessive debt funding, giving shareholders more conviction in the sustainability of returns, which has headroom to increase further. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau, there are three pertinent factors you should further research:

  1. Financial Health: Does it have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  2. Future Earnings: How does Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau’s growth rate compare to its peers and the wider market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for the upcoming years by interacting with our free analyst growth expectation chart.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Hutter & Schrantz Stahlbau? Explore our interactive list of stocks with large growth potential to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!