Should You Be Concerned About Exsitec Holding AB (publ)'s (STO:EXS) ROE?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 16, 2021
OM:EXS
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. To keep the lesson grounded in practicality, we'll use ROE to better understand Exsitec Holding AB (publ) (STO:EXS).

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

Check out our latest analysis for Exsitec Holding

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Exsitec Holding is:

1.3% = kr3.4m ÷ kr267m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each SEK1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made SEK0.01 in profit.

Does Exsitec Holding 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 is clear from the image below, Exsitec Holding has a lower ROE than the average (19%) in the IT industry.

roe
OM:EXS Return on Equity October 16th 2021

That's not what we like to see. That being said, a low ROE is not always a bad thing, especially if the company has low leverage as this still leaves room for improvement if the company were to take on more debt. A high debt company having a low ROE is a different story altogether and a risky investment in our books. Our risks dashboard should have the 2 risks we have identified for Exsitec Holding.

The Importance Of Debt To Return On Equity

Most companies need money -- from somewhere -- to grow their profits. That cash can come from issuing shares, retained earnings, or debt. In the first and second cases, the ROE will reflect this use of cash for investment in the business. In the latter case, the use of debt will improve the returns, but will not change the equity. Thus the use of debt can improve ROE, albeit along with extra risk in the case of stormy weather, metaphorically speaking.

Combining Exsitec Holding's Debt And Its 1.3% Return On Equity

While Exsitec Holding does have some debt, with a debt to equity ratio of just 0.48, we wouldn't say debt is excessive. Its ROE is rather low, and it does use some debt, albeit not much. That's not great to see. Conservative use of debt to boost returns is usually a good move for shareholders, though it does leave the company more exposed to interest rate rises.

Conclusion

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. All else being equal, a higher ROE is better.

But when a business is high quality, the market often bids it up to a price that reflects this. 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.

If you would prefer check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.

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