Why Newmont Mining Corporation’s (NYSE:NEM) ROE Of 0.34% Does Not Tell The Whole Story

Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE:NEM) delivered a less impressive 0.34% ROE over the past year, compared to the 11.20% return generated by its industry. NEM’s results could indicate a relatively inefficient operation to its peers, and while this may be the case, it is important to understand what ROE is made up of and how it should be interpreted. Knowing these components could change your view on NEM’s performance. I will take you through how metrics such as financial leverage impact ROE which may affect the overall sustainability of NEM’s returns. View our latest analysis for Newmont Mining

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. An ROE of 0.34% implies $0 returned on every $1 invested, so the higher the return, the better. Investors that are diversifying their portfolio based on industry may want to maximise their return in the Gold sector by choosing the highest returning stock. However, this can be deceiving as each company has varying costs of equity and debt levels, which could exaggeratedly push up ROE at the same time as accumulating high interest expense.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. Newmont Mining’s cost of equity is 11.43%. Since Newmont Mining’s return does not cover its cost, with a difference of -11.10%, this means its current use of equity is not efficient and not sustainable. Very simply, Newmont Mining 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

NYSE:NEM Last Perf May 11th 18
NYSE:NEM Last Perf May 11th 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. Asset turnover shows how much revenue Newmont Mining can generate with its current 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 determine if Newmont Mining’s ROE is inflated by borrowing high levels of debt. Generally, a balanced capital structure means its returns will be sustainable over the long run. We can examine this by looking at Newmont Mining’s debt-to-equity ratio. Currently the ratio stands at 35.44%, which is very low. This means Newmont Mining has not taken on leverage, which could explain its below-average ROE. Newmont Mining still has headroom to take on more leverage in order to grow its returns.

NYSE:NEM Historical Debt May 11th 18
NYSE:NEM Historical Debt May 11th 18

Next Steps:

While ROE is a relatively simple calculation, it can be broken down into different ratios, each telling a different story about the strengths and weaknesses of a company. Newmont Mining’s ROE is underwhelming relative to the industry average, and its returns were also not strong enough to cover its own cost of equity. Although, its appropriate level of leverage means investors can be more confident in the sustainability of Newmont Mining’s return with a possible increase should the company decide to increase its debt levels. ROE is a helpful signal, but it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision.

For Newmont Mining, I’ve compiled three key factors you should look at:

  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 Newmont Mining 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 Newmont Mining is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Newmont Mining? Explore our interactive list of stocks with large growth potential to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!