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Did Big Yellow Group Plc (LON:BYG) Create Value For Shareholders?

Gerald Huddleston

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want to begin learning the link between Big Yellow Group Plc (LON:BYG)’s return fundamentals and stock market performance.

Big Yellow Group Plc (LON:BYG) outperformed the Specialized REITs industry on the basis of its ROE – producing a higher 13.61% relative to the peer average of 9.14% over the past 12 months. On the surface, this looks fantastic since we know that BYG 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 BYG’s ROE is. View out our latest analysis for Big Yellow Group

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. For example, if the company invests £1 in the form of equity, it will generate £0.14 in earnings from this. In most cases, a higher ROE is preferred; however, there are many other factors we must consider prior to making any investment decisions.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. Big Yellow Group’s cost of equity is 8.28%. Since Big Yellow Group’s return covers its cost in excess of 5.33%, its use of equity capital is efficient and likely to be sustainable. Simply put, Big Yellow Group pays less for its capital than what it generates in return. ROE can be dissected into three distinct 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

LSE:BYG Last Perf June 22nd 18

Basically, profit margin measures how much of revenue trickles down into earnings which illustrates how efficient the business is with its cost management. Asset turnover shows how much revenue Big Yellow Group can generate with its current asset base. The most interesting ratio, and reflective of sustainability of its ROE, is financial leverage. Since ROE can be artificially increased through excessive borrowing, we should check Big Yellow Group’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. Currently the debt-to-equity ratio stands at a low 35.86%, which means its above-average ROE is driven by its ability to grow its profit without a significant debt burden.

LSE:BYG Historical Debt June 22nd 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. Big Yellow Group exhibits a strong ROE against its peers, as well as sufficient returns to cover its cost of equity. ROE is not likely to be inflated by excessive debt funding, giving shareholders more conviction in the sustainability of high returns. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Big Yellow Group, I’ve put together three pertinent 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 Big Yellow Group 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 Big Yellow Group is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Big Yellow Group? 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.