Should North Eastern Carrying Corporation Limited (NSE:NECCLTD) Focus On Improving This Fundamental Metric?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 18, 2022
NSEI:NECCLTD
Source: Shutterstock

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. We'll use ROE to examine North Eastern Carrying Corporation Limited (NSE:NECCLTD), 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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for North Eastern Carrying

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 North Eastern Carrying is:

6.2% = ₹60m ÷ ₹966m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every ₹1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn ₹0.06 in profit.

Does North Eastern Carrying 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. However, this method is only useful as a rough check, because companies do differ quite a bit within the same industry classification. As shown in the graphic below, North Eastern Carrying has a lower ROE than the average (9.6%) in the Transportation industry classification.

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NSEI:NECCLTD Return on Equity March 18th 2022

Unfortunately, that's sub-optimal. Although, we think that a lower ROE could still mean that a company has the opportunity to better its returns with the use of leverage, provided its existing debt levels are low. A company with high debt levels and low ROE is a combination we like to avoid given the risk involved. You can see the 4 risks we have identified for North Eastern Carrying by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

Why You Should Consider Debt When Looking At ROE

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 North Eastern Carrying's Debt And Its 6.2% Return On Equity

It's worth noting the high use of debt by North Eastern Carrying, leading to its debt to equity ratio of 1.01. With a fairly low ROE, and significant use of debt, it's hard to get excited about this business at the moment. Debt does bring extra risk, so it's only really worthwhile when a company generates some decent returns from it.

Summary

Return on equity is one way we can compare its business quality of different companies. Companies that can achieve high returns on equity without too much debt are generally of good quality. 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. Profit growth rates, versus the expectations reflected in the price of the stock, are a particularly important to consider. So I think it may be worth checking this free this detailed graph 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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