Stock Analysis

Should We Be Delighted With 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad's (KLSE:SEM) ROE Of 31%?

KLSE:SEM
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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). By way of learning-by-doing, we'll look at ROE to gain a better understanding of 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad (KLSE:SEM).

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad is:

31% = RM41m ÷ RM133m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every MYR1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of MYR0.31.

Does 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad Have A Good ROE?

One simple way to determine if a company has a good return on equity is to compare it to the average for its industry. However, this method is only useful as a rough check, because companies do differ quite a bit within the same industry classification. Pleasingly, 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad has a superior ROE than the average (8.8%) in the Consumer Retailing industry.

roe
KLSE:SEM Return on Equity December 3rd 2020

That's clearly a positive. Bear in mind, a high ROE doesn't always mean superior financial performance. Especially when a firm uses high levels of debt to finance its debt which may boost its ROE but the high leverage puts the company at risk. To know the 3 risks we have identified for 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad visit our risks dashboard for free.

The Importance Of Debt To Return On Equity

Most companies need money -- from somewhere -- 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 required for growth will boost returns, but will not impact the shareholders' equity. Thus the use of debt can improve ROE, albeit along with extra risk in the case of stormy weather, metaphorically speaking.

Combining 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad's Debt And Its 31% Return On Equity

It seems that 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Berhad uses a huge volume of debt to fund the business, since it has an extremely high debt to equity ratio of 3.82. While its ROE is no doubt quite impressive, it could give a false impression about the company's returns given that its huge debt could be boosting those returns.

Conclusion

Return on equity is useful for comparing the quality of different businesses. In our books, the highest quality companies have high return on equity, despite low debt. All else being equal, a higher ROE is better.

But ROE is just one piece of a bigger puzzle, since high quality businesses often trade on high multiples of earnings. 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.

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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