Can Nestcon Berhad (KLSE:NESTCON) Maintain Its Strong Returns?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 29, 2021
KLSE:NESTCON
Source: Shutterstock

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 Nestcon Berhad (KLSE:NESTCON).

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Nestcon Berhad

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 Nestcon Berhad is:

20% = RM14m ÷ RM72m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every MYR1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of MYR0.20.

Does Nestcon Berhad Have A Good ROE?

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. As you can see in the graphic below, Nestcon Berhad has a higher ROE than the average (4.9%) in the Construction industry.

roe
KLSE:NESTCON Return on Equity November 30th 2021

That is a good sign. With that said, a high ROE doesn't always indicate high profitability. A higher proportion of debt in a company's capital structure may also result in a high ROE, where the high debt levels could be a huge risk .

The Importance Of Debt To Return On Equity

Most companies need money -- from somewhere -- to grow their profits. The cash for investment can come from prior year profits (retained earnings), issuing new shares, or borrowing. 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.

Nestcon Berhad's Debt And Its 20% ROE

Although Nestcon Berhad does use debt, its debt to equity ratio of 0.71 is still low. The combination of modest debt and a very respectable ROE suggests this is a business worth watching. Judicious use of debt to improve returns can certainly be a good thing, although it does elevate risk slightly and reduce future optionality.

Summary

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. If two companies have around the same level of debt to equity, and one has a higher ROE, I'd generally prefer the one with higher ROE.

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 report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course Nestcon Berhad may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have high ROE and low debt.

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