search icon
      blog search icon

      How to Calculate Return on Equity: A Step-by-Step Guide

      By Hasnain R

      Published on

      May 23, 2023

      2:11 PM UTC

      Last Updated on

      May 27, 2023

      2:15 PM UTC

      How to Calculate Return on Equity: A Step-by-Step Guide

      Are you looking for a way to measure a company’s profitability and gauge its potential for growth? Look no further than return on equity (ROE). In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to calculate return on equity, empowering you with a valuable tool to assess the financial health of a company.

      Whether you’re an experienced investor or just starting out, understanding how to calculate return on equity can provide valuable insights into a company’s ability to generate profits and maximize shareholder value.

      No matter what level of investor you are, this guide will give you the knowledge and tools to discover how to calculate Return on Equity and make smart investments.

      What is ROE in Finance?

      Return on Equity (ROE) is a financial ratio that measures the profitability of a company by calculating how much profit it generates in relation to the amount of shareholder equity.

      ROE is expressed as a percentage and is calculated by dividing a company’s net income by its average shareholder equity during a specified period.

      ROE is a key metric for investors as it helps them evaluate how effectively a company is using its equity to generate profits.

      A high ROE indicates that a company is generating significant profits relative to the amount of equity invested by its shareholders, while a low ROE suggests that the company is not using its equity as effectively.

      Return on Equity Formula

      The Return on Equity equation is:
      Return on Equity Formula - how to calculate return on equityWhere:

      • Net Income is the company’s total income minus all expenses, taxes, and interest paid.
      • Average Shareholder Equity is the average value of the company’s equity over a specific period. It is calculated by adding the beginning and ending equity balances and dividing the result by two.

      In general, a high ROE indicates that a company is effectively generating profits from its equity, while a low ROE suggests that the company may not be using its equity as efficiently.

      How to Find a Return on Equity?

      To calculate ROE, you need to follow the below steps:

      • Step 1: Determine the Net Income

        Calculate the net income of the company, which is its total income minus all expenses, taxes, and interest paid.

      • Step 2: Determine the Average Shareholder Equity

        Calculate the average shareholder equity of the company over a specific period. To do this, add the beginning and ending equity balances and divide the result by two.

      • Step 3: Divide Net Income by Average Shareholder Equity

        Divide the net income calculated in Step 1 by the average shareholder equity calculated in Step 2.

      • Step 4: Multiply by 100

        Multiply the result obtained in Step 3 by 100 to get the ROE percentage.
        The formula for calculating ROE can be expressed as

        ROE = (Net Income Average Shareholder Equity) x 100For example, suppose a company has a net income of $500,000 and an average shareholder equity of $2,000,000 over the past year. The ROE for the company would be:

        ROE = ($500,000$2,000,000) x 100 = 25%This means that the company generated a profit of 25 cents for every dollar of shareholder equity invested in the business.

      Example of Return on Equity

      Let’s consider two examples to demonstrate how to calculate Return on Equity (ROE):

      Example

      Let’s take an example of the company TechnipFMC (NYSE: FTI), In the latest quarter, TechnipFMC has a net income of 1.6 and an average shareholder equity of 3321.5 over the past year. The ROE% for the company would be:

      ROE = (1.63321.5) x 100 = 0.05%

      This means that FTI generated a profit of 0.05% for every dollar invested in the business by the shareholder.

      Return on Equity vs. Return on Invested

      Return on Equity (ROE) and Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) are both important financial metrics used by investors to evaluate the profitability and financial health of a company. However, there are some key differences between the two.

      ROE measures the amount of profit generated by a company in relation to its shareholder equity, while ROIC measures the return generated by a company on all the capital it has invested in the business, including debt and equity.

      ROE focuses on the return generated by equity investment only, while ROIC takes into account both equity and debt financing. This means that ROIC provides a more comprehensive view of a company’s ability to generate returns for all of its investors, including bondholders and lenders.

      ROE is typically used as a measure of a company’s profitability, while ROIC is used to evaluate a company’s efficiency in deploying its capital to generate profits.

      In general, a high ROE indicates that a company is effectively generating profits from its equity, while a high ROIC suggests that a company is effectively generating profits from all of its capital investments, both equity and debt.

      Why is ROE Important?

      ROE is an important financial metric for several reasons:

      • A Measure of Profitability

        ROE measures the amount of profit generated by a company in relation to its shareholder equity. A high ROE indicates that the company is effectively generating profits from its equity, which is a key measure of a company’s profitability.

      • Indicator of Efficiency

        A high ROE indicates that a company is using its equity efficiently to generate profits. It suggests that the company is able to generate more profit per dollar of shareholder equity invested, which is a sign of good management and efficient use of resources.

      • Comparison with Industry Benchmarks

        ROE can be compared with industry benchmarks to evaluate a company’s financial health and performance relative to its peers. This can provide insights into the company’s competitive position, growth prospects, and overall financial performance.

      • Evaluation of Management Performance

        ROE is often used by investors to evaluate the performance of a company’s management. A consistently high ROE can indicate that the company’s management is making effective decisions and generating strong returns for shareholders.

      • Investment Decision-Making

        ROE can be used as a tool to make investment decisions. Investors often seek out companies with a high ROE, as it indicates that the company is generating strong returns for shareholders, which can lead to capital appreciation and increased dividends over time.

      Limitations of ROE

      • Limited Scope

        ROE focuses only on the profitability of a company in relation to its shareholder equity and does not take into account other factors such as debt, interest, taxes, and expenses. This can limit its usefulness as a measure of a company’s overall financial health.

      • Industry-Specific

        ROE benchmarks can vary widely across industries due to differences in capital structures, asset requirements, and other factors. Comparing ROE across industries may not provide meaningful insights into a company’s performance.

      • Susceptible to Manipulation

        ROE can be manipulated through various accounting practices such as stock buybacks, increasing debt, or altering depreciation schedules. This can make it difficult to compare ROE between companies or evaluate changes in ROE over time.

      • Ignores Risk

        ROE does not take into account the level of risk involved in generating profits. A high ROE may indicate that a company is generating strong returns, but it may also indicate that the company is taking on significant risks to achieve those returns.

      • Short-Term Focus

        ROE is a measure of profitability over a specific period, such as a quarter or a year, and may not provide a comprehensive view of a company’s long-term financial health or growth prospects.

      Conclusion

      In conclusion, calculating Return on Equity (ROE) is an essential skill for investors looking to evaluate a company’s financial health and management effectiveness.

      This step-by-step guide has provided a comprehensive overview of how to calculate ROE, including determining net income and average shareholder equity.

      Additionally, we have discussed the importance of ROE in investment decision-making and the factors to consider when interpreting this metric.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Why is Return On Equity Important?

      Return on Equity (ROE) is an important financial metric that measures a company’s profitability in relation to the amount of shareholder equity invested. It is a critical tool for investors and analysts to evaluate a company’s financial health and management effectiveness.

      A high ROE indicates that a company is generating profits efficiently and effectively utilizing shareholder funds, making it an attractive investment opportunity.

      ROE is also helpful in comparing companies within the same industry and identifying potential risks, such as declining profitability or operational inefficiencies.

      How to Increase Return On Equity?

      There are several strategies that companies can use to increase their Return on Equity (ROE). One way is to increase profitability by increasing revenue and reducing costs. Companies can achieve this through product innovation, expansion into new markets, or streamlining operations.

      Another strategy is to reduce debt and increase equity, which can improve ROE by increasing the amount of shareholder equity invested. Additionally, companies can use leverage to increase their ROE by borrowing funds at a lower rate than their return on investment.

      However, this strategy can also increase risk, so it should be used with caution. Ultimately, companies that focus on efficient operations, innovation, and responsible financial management are likely to achieve a higher ROE over time.

      More From Stocks telegraph