Should You Be Impressed By Standrew S.A.'s (WSE:STD) ROE?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 09, 2022
WSE:STD
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 Standrew S.A. (WSE:STD), by way of a worked example.

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 Standrew

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Standrew is:

14% = zł838k ÷ zł6.2m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every PLN1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn PLN0.14 in profit.

Does Standrew 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. As is clear from the image below, Standrew has a better ROE than the average (8.4%) in the Forestry industry.

roe
WSE:STD Return on Equity January 9th 2022

That's what we like to see. Bear in mind, a high ROE doesn't always mean superior financial performance. 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 . Our risks dashboardshould have the 6 risks we have identified for Standrew.

How Does Debt Impact 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 case of the first and second options, the ROE will reflect this use of cash, for growth. In the latter case, the use of debt will improve the returns, but will not change the equity. In this manner the use of debt will boost ROE, even though the core economics of the business stay the same.

Standrew's Debt And Its 14% ROE

It's worth noting the high use of debt by Standrew, leading to its debt to equity ratio of 1.67. While its ROE is respectable, it is worth keeping in mind that there is usually a limit as to how much debt a company can use. Debt increases risk and reduces options for the company in the future, so you generally want to see some good returns from using it.

Conclusion

Return on equity is one way we can compare its business quality of different companies. A company that can achieve a high return on equity without debt could be considered a high quality business. 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. It is important to consider other factors, such as future profit growth -- and how much investment is required going forward. So I think it may be worth checking this free this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course Standrew 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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