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Did Alliance Resource Partners LP. (NASDAQ:ARLP) Create Value For Shareholders?

Brent Freeman

Alliance Resource Partners LP. (NASDAQ:ARLP) delivered an ROE of 26.42% over the past 12 months, which is an impressive feat relative to its industry average of 10.62% during the same period. On the surface, this looks fantastic since we know that ARLP has made large profits from little equity capital; however, ROE doesn’t tell us if management have borrowed heavily to make this happen. Today, we’ll take a closer look at some factors like financial leverage to see how sustainable ARLP’s ROE is. Check out our latest analysis for Alliance Resource Partners

What you must know about ROE

Firstly, Return on Equity, or ROE, is simply the percentage of last years’ earning against the book value of shareholders’ equity. An ROE of 26.42% implies $0.26 returned on every $1 invested. Generally speaking, a higher ROE is preferred; however, there are other factors we must also consider before making any conclusions.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

ROE is assessed against cost of equity, which is measured using the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) – but let’s not dive into the details of that today. For now, let’s just look at the cost of equity number for Alliance Resource Partners, which is 9.37%. Given a positive discrepancy of 17.05% between return and cost, this indicates that Alliance Resource Partners pays less for its capital than what it generates in return, which is a sign of capital efficiency. ROE can be split up into three useful 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

NasdaqGS:ARLP Last Perf Mar 15th 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. Asset turnover reveals how much revenue can be generated from Alliance Resource Partners’s asset base. And finally, financial leverage is simply how much of assets are funded by equity, which exhibits how sustainable the company’s capital structure is. Since ROE can be artificially increased through excessive borrowing, we should check Alliance Resource Partners’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. Currently the debt-to-equity ratio stands at a low 49.85%, which means its above-average ROE is driven by its ability to grow its profit without a significant debt burden.

NasdaqGS:ARLP Historical Debt Mar 15th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is a simple yet informative ratio, illustrating the various components that each measure the quality of the overall stock. Alliance Resource Partners’s above-industry ROE is encouraging, and is also in excess of its cost of equity. Its high ROE is not likely to be driven by high debt. Therefore, investors may have more confidence in the sustainability of this level of returns going forward. ROE is a helpful signal, but it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision.

For Alliance Resource Partners, I’ve compiled three relevant aspects you should further research:

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


To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.