Is ShaMaran Petroleum Corp.'s (CVE:SNM) 53% ROE Better Than Average?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 20, 2022
TSXV:SNM
Source: Shutterstock

While some investors are already well versed in financial metrics (hat tip), this article is for those who would like to learn about Return On Equity (ROE) and why it is important. We'll use ROE to examine ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. (CVE:SNM), by way of a worked example.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for ShaMaran Petroleum

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for ShaMaran Petroleum is:

53% = US$7.5m ÷ US$14m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each CA$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made CA$0.53 in profit.

Does ShaMaran Petroleum Have A Good Return On Equity?

By comparing a company's ROE with its industry average, we can get a quick measure of how good it is. Importantly, this is far from a perfect measure, because companies differ significantly within the same industry classification. Pleasingly, ShaMaran Petroleum has a superior ROE than the average (18%) in the Oil and Gas industry.

roe
TSXV:SNM Return on Equity April 20th 2022

That is a good sign. With that said, a high ROE doesn't always indicate high profitability. A higher proportion of debt in a company's capital structure may also result in a high ROE, where the high debt levels could be a huge risk . To know the 5 risks we have identified for ShaMaran Petroleum visit our risks dashboard for free.

How Does Debt Impact Return On Equity?

Most companies need money -- from somewhere -- to grow their profits. The cash for investment can come from prior year profits (retained earnings), issuing new shares, or borrowing. In the case of the first and second options, the ROE will reflect this use of cash, for growth. In the latter case, the use of debt will improve the returns, but will not change the equity. In this manner the use of debt will boost ROE, even though the core economics of the business stay the same.

ShaMaran Petroleum's Debt And Its 53% ROE

It appears that ShaMaran Petroleum makes extensive use of debt to improve its returns, because it has an alarmingly high debt to equity ratio of 21.76. While its ROE is no doubt quite impressive, it could give a false impression about the company's returns given that its huge debt could be boosting those returns.

Conclusion

Return on equity is a useful indicator of the ability of a business to generate profits and return them to shareholders. In our books, the highest quality companies have high return on equity, despite low debt. If two companies have the same ROE, then I would generally prefer the one with less debt.

But ROE is just one piece of a bigger puzzle, since high quality businesses often trade on high multiples of earnings. The rate at which profits are likely to grow, relative to the expectations of profit growth reflected in the current price, must be considered, too. So you might want to take a peek at this data-rich interactive graph of forecasts for the company.

But note: ShaMaran Petroleum may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

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