What SilverBow Resources, Inc.'s (NYSE:SBOW) ROE Can Tell Us

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 08, 2021
NYSE:SBOW
Source: Shutterstock

While some investors are already well versed in financial metrics (hat tip), this article is for those who would like to learn about Return On Equity (ROE) and why it is important. We'll use ROE to examine SilverBow Resources, Inc. (NYSE:SBOW), by way of a worked example.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for SilverBow Resources

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for return on equity is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for SilverBow Resources is:

11% = US$11m ÷ US$101m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.11.

Does SilverBow Resources Have A Good Return On Equity?

By comparing a company's ROE with its industry average, we can get a quick measure of how good it is. However, this method is only useful as a rough check, because companies do differ quite a bit within the same industry classification. You can see in the graphic below that SilverBow Resources has an ROE that is fairly close to the average for the Oil and Gas industry (12%).

roe
NYSE:SBOW Return on Equity September 9th 2021

That's neither particularly good, nor bad. Even if the ROE is respectable when compared to the industry, its worth checking if the firm's ROE is being aided by high debt levels. If so, this increases its exposure to financial risk. To know the 4 risks we have identified for SilverBow Resources visit our risks dashboard for free.

Why You Should Consider Debt When Looking At ROE

Virtually all companies need money to invest in the business, to grow profits. That cash can come from retained earnings, issuing new shares (equity), 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 debt required for growth will boost returns, but will not impact the shareholders' equity. That will make the ROE look better than if no debt was used.

SilverBow Resources' Debt And Its 11% ROE

It seems that SilverBow Resources uses a huge volume of debt to fund the business, since it has an extremely high debt to equity ratio of 3.89. Most investors would need a low share price to be interested in a company with low ROE and high debt to equity.

Summary

Return on equity is useful for comparing the quality of different businesses. 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 report on 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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