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# Can CCC SA’s (WSE:CCC) ROE Continue To Surpass The Industry Average?

I am writing today to help inform people who are new to the stock market and want a simplistic look at the return on CCC SA (WSE:CCC) stock.

With an ROE of 18.92%, CCC SA (WSE:CCC) returned in-line to its own industry which delivered 16.87% over the past year. 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, CCC 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.

### Peeling the layers of ROE – trisecting a company’s profitability

Firstly, Return on Equity, or ROE, is simply the percentage of last years’ earning against the book value of shareholders’ equity. For example, if the company invests PLN1 in the form of equity, it will generate PLN0.19 in earnings from this. Investors seeking to maximise their return in the Footwear industry may want to choose the highest returning stock. But this can be misleading as each company has different costs of equity and also varying debt levels, which could artificially push up ROE whilst accumulating high interest expense.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. CCC’s cost of equity is 8.67%. Given a positive discrepancy of 10.25% between return and cost, this indicates that CCC pays less for its capital than what it generates in return, which is a sign of capital efficiency. 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

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 CCC’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. ROE can be inflated by disproportionately high levels of debt. This is also unsustainable due to the high interest cost that the company will also incur. Thus, we should look at CCC’s debt-to-equity ratio to examine sustainability of its returns. The most recent ratio is greater than 2.5 times which is very high, indicating CCC’s above-average ROE is generated by its significant leverage levels and its ability to grow profit hinges on a substantial debt burden.

### Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. CCC’s ROE is impressive relative to the industry average and also covers its cost of equity. Its high debt level means its strong ROE may be driven by debt funding which raises concerns over the sustainability of CCC’s returns. ROE is a helpful signal, but it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision.

For CCC, I’ve compiled three pertinent factors you should further research:

1. Financial Health: Does it have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
2. Valuation: What is CCC worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CCC is currently mispriced by the market.
3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of CCC? Explore our interactive list of stocks with large growth potential to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!