One of the best investments we can make is in our own knowledge and skill set. With that in mind, this article will work through how we can use Return On Equity (ROE) to better understand a business. To keep the lesson grounded in practicality, we'll use ROE to better understand Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:CHP.UN).
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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How To 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 Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust is:
18% = CA$627m ÷ CA$3.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each CA$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made CA$0.18 in profit.
Does Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust Have A Good Return On Equity?
Arguably the easiest way to assess company's ROE is to compare it with the average in its industry. However, this method is only useful as a rough check, because companies do differ quite a bit within the same industry classification. As you can see in the graphic below, Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust has a higher ROE than the average (10%) in the REITs industry.
That is a good sign. With that said, a high ROE doesn't always indicate high profitability. Aside from changes in net income, a high ROE can also be the outcome of high debt relative to equity, which indicates risk. To know the 4 risks we have identified for Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust visit our risks dashboard for free.
The Importance Of Debt To Return On Equity
Companies usually need to invest money to grow their profits. The cash for investment can come from prior year profits (retained earnings), issuing new shares, or borrowing. In the first and second cases, the ROE will reflect this use of cash for investment in the business. In the latter case, the use of debt will improve the returns, but will not change the equity. Thus the use of debt can improve ROE, albeit along with extra risk in the case of stormy weather, metaphorically speaking.
Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust's Debt And Its 18% ROE
We think Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust uses a significant amount of debt to maximize its returns, as it has a significantly higher debt to equity ratio of 3.33. Its ROE is decent, but once I consider all the debt, I'm not really impressed.
Return on equity is useful for comparing the quality of different businesses. Companies that can achieve high returns on equity without too much debt are generally of good quality. All else being equal, a higher ROE is better.
But when a business is high quality, the market often bids it up to a price that reflects this. Profit growth rates, versus the expectations reflected in the price of the stock, are a particularly important to consider. So you might want to take a peek at this data-rich interactive graph of forecasts for the company.
If you would prefer check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.
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Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust
Choice Properties, Canada's preeminent diversified real estate investment trust, is the owner, manager and developer of a high-quality portfolio comprising 725 properties totaling 66.1 million square feet of gross leasable area.
Proven track record second-rate dividend payer.