With A 1.4% Return On Equity, Is Tera Light Ltd (TLV:TRLT) A Quality Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 03, 2022
TASE:TRLT
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 Tera Light Ltd (TLV:TRLT), by way of a worked example.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Tera Light

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 Tera Light is:

1.4% = ₪3.5m ÷ ₪250m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every ₪1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of ₪0.01.

Does Tera Light Have A Good ROE?

Arguably the easiest way to assess company's ROE is to compare it with the average in its industry. Importantly, this is far from a perfect measure, because companies differ significantly within the same industry classification. As shown in the graphic below, Tera Light has a lower ROE than the average (9.0%) in the Electrical industry classification.

roe
TASE:TRLT Return on Equity January 3rd 2022

That certainly isn't ideal. However, a low ROE is not always bad. If the company's debt levels are moderate to low, then there's still a chance that returns can be improved via the use of financial leverage. When a company has low ROE but high debt levels, we would be cautious as the risk involved is too high. Our risks dashboard should have the 3 risks we have identified for Tera Light.

Why You Should Consider Debt When Looking At ROE

Most companies need money -- from somewhere -- to grow their profits. That cash can come from issuing shares, retained earnings, or debt. 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. That will make the ROE look better than if no debt was used.

Combining Tera Light's Debt And Its 1.4% Return On Equity

Although Tera Light does use a little debt, its debt to equity ratio of just 0.00005 is very low. Its ROE is certainly on the low side, and since it already uses debt, we're not too excited about the company. Judicious use of debt to improve returns can certainly be a good thing, although it does elevate risk slightly and reduce future optionality.

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. You can see how the company has grow in the past by looking at this FREE detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

But note: Tera Light 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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