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Did Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CNSL) Create Value For Investors Over The Past Year?

Raj Burman

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want to begin learning the link between Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CNSL)’s return fundamentals and stock market performance.

Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CNSL) delivered a less impressive 10.62% ROE over the past year, compared to the 11.83% return generated by its industry. An investor may attribute an inferior ROE to a relatively inefficient performance, and whilst this can often be the case, knowing the nuts and bolts of the ROE calculation may change that perspective and give you a deeper insight into CNSL’s past performance. Today I will look at how components such as financial leverage can influence ROE which may impact the sustainability of CNSL’s returns. See our latest analysis for Consolidated Communications Holdings

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. It essentially shows how much the company can generate in earnings given the amount of equity it has raised. 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. Consolidated Communications Holdings’s cost of equity is 12.29%. Since Consolidated Communications Holdings’s return does not cover its cost, with a difference of -1.66%, this means its current use of equity is not efficient and not sustainable. Very simply, Consolidated Communications Holdings pays more 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

NasdaqGS:CNSL Last Perf June 22nd 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. Asset turnover shows how much revenue Consolidated Communications Holdings can generate with its current asset base. The most interesting ratio, and reflective of sustainability of its ROE, is financial leverage. Since financial leverage can artificially inflate ROE, we need to look at how much debt Consolidated Communications Holdings currently has. At over 2.5 times, Consolidated Communications Holdings’s debt-to-equity ratio is very high and indicates the below-average ROE is already being generated by significant leverage levels.

NasdaqGS:CNSL 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. Consolidated Communications Holdings exhibits a weak ROE against its peers, as well as insufficient levels to cover its own cost of equity this year. However, ROE is not likely to be inflated by excessive debt funding, giving shareholders more conviction in the sustainability of returns, which has headroom to increase further. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Consolidated Communications Holdings, I’ve put together three key factors 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 Consolidated Communications Holdings 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 Consolidated Communications Holdings is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Consolidated Communications Holdings? 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.