Can Eidesvik Offshore ASA’s (OB:EIOF) ROE Continue To Surpass The Industry Average?

Eidesvik Offshore ASA (OB:EIOF) performed in-line with its oil and gas equipment and services industry on the basis of its ROE – producing a return of9.56% relative to the peer average of 7.65% over the past 12 months. However, whether this ROE is actually impressive depends on if it can be maintained. This can be measured by looking at the company’s financial leverage. With more debt, EIOF can invest even more and earn more money, thus pushing up its returns. However, ROE only measures returns against equity, not debt. This can be distorted, so let’s take a look at it further. View our latest analysis for Eidesvik Offshore

Breaking down Return on Equity

Firstly, Return on Equity, or ROE, is simply the percentage of last years’ earning against the book value of shareholders’ equity. It essentially shows how much the company can generate in earnings given the amount of equity it has raised. Investors seeking to maximise their return in the Oil and Gas Equipment and Services industry may want to choose the highest returning stock. However, this can be misleading as each firm has different costs of equity and debt levels i.e. the more debt Eidesvik Offshore has, the higher ROE is pumped up in the short term, at the expense of long term interest payment burden.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

ROE is assessed against cost of equity, which is measured using the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) – but let’s not dive into the details of that today. For now, let’s just look at the cost of equity number for Eidesvik Offshore, which is 18.01%. Since Eidesvik Offshore’s return does not cover its cost, with a difference of -8.45%, this means its current use of equity is not efficient and not sustainable. Very simply, Eidesvik Offshore pays more for its capital than what it generates in return. ROE can be broken down into three different ratios: net profit margin, asset turnover, and financial leverage. This is called the Dupont Formula:

Dupont Formula

ROE = profit margin × asset turnover × financial leverage

ROE = (annual net profit ÷ sales) × (sales ÷ assets) × (assets ÷ shareholders’ equity)

ROE = annual net profit ÷ shareholders’ equity

OB:EIOF Last Perf Mar 19th 18
OB:EIOF Last Perf Mar 19th 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. Asset turnover reveals how much revenue can be generated from Eidesvik Offshore’s asset base. Finally, financial leverage will be our main focus today. It shows how much of assets are funded by equity and can show how sustainable the company’s capital structure is. We can assess whether Eidesvik Offshore is fuelling ROE by excessively raising debt. Ideally, Eidesvik Offshore should have a balanced capital structure, which we can check by looking at the historic debt-to-equity ratio of the company. Currently the ratio stands at 169.58%, which is relatively high. This means Eidesvik Offshore’s above-average ROE may be driven by its high leverage and its ability to grow profit hinges on a large debt burden.

OB:EIOF Historical Debt Mar 19th 18
OB:EIOF Historical Debt Mar 19th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. Eidesvik Offshore’s above-industry ROE is noteworthy, but it was not high enough to cover its own cost of equity. With debt capital in excess of equity, ROE may be inflated by the use of debt funding, raising questions over the sustainability of the company’s returns. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Eidesvik Offshore, there are three key factors you should look at: