Stock Analysis

Capital Power Corporation (TSE:CPX) Has A ROE Of 5.2%

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Many investors are still learning about the various metrics that can be useful when analysing a stock. This article is for those who would like to learn about Return On Equity (ROE). To keep the lesson grounded in practicality, we'll use ROE to better understand Capital Power Corporation (TSE:CPX).

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Capital Power

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Capital Power is:

5.2% = CA\$128m ÷ CA\$2.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every CA\$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn CA\$0.05 in profit.

Does Capital Power 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. The limitation of this approach is that some companies are quite different from others, even within the same industry classification. The image below shows that Capital Power has an ROE that is roughly in line with the Renewable Energy industry average (5.2%).

That isn't amazing, but it is respectable. Although the ROE is similar to the industry, we should still perform further checks to see if the company's ROE is being boosted by high debt levels. If a company takes on too much debt, it is at higher risk of defaulting on interest payments. Our risks dashboardshould have the 2 risks we have identified for Capital Power.

How Does Debt Impact ROE?

Companies usually need to invest money to grow their profits. That cash can come from issuing shares, retained earnings, or debt. 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. Thus the use of debt can improve ROE, albeit along with extra risk in the case of stormy weather, metaphorically speaking.

Combining Capital Power's Debt And Its 5.2% Return On Equity

Capital Power clearly uses a high amount of debt to boost returns, as it has a debt to equity ratio of 1.52. The combination of a rather low ROE and significant use of debt is not particularly appealing. Investors should think carefully about how a company might perform if it was unable to borrow so easily, because credit markets do change over time.

Conclusion

Return on equity is a useful indicator of the ability of a business to generate profits and return them to shareholders. A company that can achieve a high return on equity without debt could be considered a high quality business. If two companies have the same ROE, then I would generally prefer the one with less debt.

But when a business is high quality, the market often bids it up to a price that reflects this. It is important to consider other factors, such as future profit growth -- and how much investment is required going forward. So you might want to check this FREE visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

But note: Capital Power 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.

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

Find out whether Capital Power 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.

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About TSX:CPX

Capital Power

Capital Power Corporation develops, acquires, owns, and operates renewable and thermal power generation facilities in Canada and the United States.

Good value with proven track record.