U.S. markets open in 6 hours 19 minutes
  • S&P Futures

    3,836.75
    -5.75 (-0.15%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    30,754.00
    -88.00 (-0.29%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    13,546.25
    +60.75 (+0.45%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    2,132.60
    -13.20 (-0.62%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    52.91
    +0.30 (+0.57%)
     
  • Gold

    1,848.30
    -2.60 (-0.14%)
     
  • Silver

    25.43
    -0.11 (-0.42%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2160
    -0.0009 (-0.07%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.0400
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • Vix

    23.02
    -0.17 (-0.73%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3748
    +0.0016 (+0.12%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    103.6620
    +0.0350 (+0.03%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    31,670.73
    +83.81 (+0.27%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    635.89
    -4.02 (-0.63%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,654.01
    0.00 (0.00%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,635.21
    +89.03 (+0.31%)
     

Based On Its ROE, Is CyberOptics Corporation (NASDAQ:CYBE) A High Quality Stock?

Simply Wall St
·4 min read

Many investors are still learning about the various metrics that can be useful when analysing a stock. This article is for those who would like to learn about Return On Equity (ROE). To keep the lesson grounded in practicality, we'll use ROE to better understand CyberOptics Corporation (NASDAQ:CYBE).

CyberOptics has a ROE of 1.3%, based on the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, it generated $0.01 in profit.

View our latest analysis for CyberOptics

How Do I Calculate ROE?

The formula for ROE is:

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

Or for CyberOptics:

1.3% = US$774k ÷ US$58m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019.)

Most know that net profit is the total earnings after all expenses, but the concept of shareholders' equity is a little more complicated. It is the capital paid in by shareholders, plus any retained earnings. You can calculate shareholders' equity by subtracting the company's total liabilities from its total assets.

What Does Return On Equity Mean?

Return on Equity measures a company's profitability against the profit it has kept for the business (plus any capital injections). The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that the higher the ROE, the more profitable the company is. So, as a general rule, a high ROE is a good thing. Clearly, then, one can use ROE to compare different companies.

Does CyberOptics 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. Importantly, this is far from a perfect measure, because companies differ significantly within the same industry classification. As is clear from the image below, CyberOptics has a lower ROE than the average (10%) in the Semiconductor industry.

NasdaqGM:CYBE Past Revenue and Net Income March 30th 2020
NasdaqGM:CYBE Past Revenue and Net Income March 30th 2020

That's not what we like to see. It is better when the ROE is above industry average, but a low one doesn't necessarily mean the business is overpriced. Nonetheless, it might be wise to check if insiders have been selling.

How Does Debt Impact Return On Equity?

Companies usually need to invest money to grow their profits. That cash can come from retained earnings, issuing new shares (equity), or debt. In the first two cases, the ROE will capture this use of capital to grow. In the latter case, the use of debt will improve the returns, but will not change the equity. That will make the ROE look better than if no debt was used.

Combining CyberOptics's Debt And Its 1.3% Return On Equity

Shareholders will be pleased to learn that CyberOptics has not one iota of net debt! It's hard to argue its ROE is much good, but the fact that no debt was used is some comfort. After all, with cash on the balance sheet, a company has a lot more optionality in good times and bad.

But It's Just One Metric

Return on equity is useful for comparing the quality of different businesses. In my book the highest quality companies have high return on equity, despite low debt. All else being equal, a higher ROE is better.

But ROE is just one piece of a bigger puzzle, since high quality businesses often trade on high multiples of earnings. 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.