Stock Analysis

Is Chi Kan Holdings Limited (HKG:9913) A High Quality Stock To Own?

SEHK:9913
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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. To keep the lesson grounded in practicality, we'll use ROE to better understand Chi Kan Holdings Limited (HKG:9913).

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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for Chi Kan Holdings

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Chi Kan Holdings is:

14% = HK$48m ÷ HK$333m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every HK$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn HK$0.14 in profit.

Does Chi Kan Holdings Have A Good ROE?

By comparing a company's ROE with its industry average, we can get a quick measure of how good it is. 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, Chi Kan Holdings has a higher ROE than the average (10%) in the Construction industry.

roe
SEHK:9913 Return on Equity January 28th 2021

That is a good sign. Bear in mind, a high ROE doesn't always mean superior financial performance. Aside from changes in net income, a high ROE can also be the outcome of high debt relative to equity, which indicates risk.

How Does Debt Impact Return On Equity?

Companies usually need to invest money to grow their profits. That cash can come from retained earnings, issuing new shares (equity), or debt. In the first two cases, the ROE will capture this use of capital to grow. In the latter case, the debt used for growth will improve returns, but won't affect the total equity. In this manner the use of debt will boost ROE, even though the core economics of the business stay the same.

Combining Chi Kan Holdings' Debt And Its 14% Return On Equity

Shareholders will be pleased to learn that Chi Kan Holdings has not one iota of net debt! Its ROE already suggests it is a good business, but the fact it has achieved this -- and doesn't borrowings -- makes it worthy of further consideration, in our view. After all, with cash on the balance sheet, a company has a lot more optionality in good times and bad.

Summary

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.

Having said that, while ROE is a useful indicator of business quality, you'll have to look at a whole range of factors to determine the right price to buy a stock. 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. Check the past profit growth by Chi Kan Holdings by looking at this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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