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How Did Loral Space & Communications Inc’s (NASDAQ:LORL) 24.08% ROE Fare Against The Industry?

Scott Perkins

With an ROE of 24.08%, Loral Space & Communications Inc (NASDAQ:LORL) outpaced its own industry which delivered a less exciting 14.15% over the past year. On the surface, this looks fantastic since we know that LORL has made large profits from little equity capital; however, ROE doesn’t tell us if management have borrowed heavily to make this happen. We’ll take a closer look today at factors like financial leverage to determine whether LORL’s ROE is actually sustainable. View our latest analysis for Loralce & Communications

Breaking down ROE — the mother of all ratios

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of Loralce & Communications’s profit relative to its shareholders’ equity. An ROE of 24.08% implies $0.24 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 measured against cost of equity in order to determine the efficiency of Loralce & Communications’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 8.65%. Since Loralce & Communications’s return covers its cost in excess of 15.42%, its use of equity capital is efficient and likely to be sustainable. Simply put, Loralce & Communications pays less for its capital than what it generates in return. 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:LORL Last Perf Jun 8th 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 Loralce & Communications’s asset base. Finally, financial leverage will be our main focus today. It shows how much of assets are funded by equity and can show how sustainable the company’s capital structure is. Since ROE can be inflated by excessive debt, we need to examine Loralce & Communications’s debt-to-equity level. Currently, Loralce & Communications has no debt which means its returns are driven purely by equity capital. Therefore, the level of financial leverage has no impact on ROE, and the ratio is a representative measure of the efficiency of all its capital employed firm-wide.

NasdaqGS:LORL Historical Debt Jun 8th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. Loralce & Communications’s ROE is impressive relative to the industry average and also covers 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. ROE is a helpful signal, but it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision.

For Loralce & Communications, there are three essential 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. Future Earnings: How does Loralce & Communications’s growth rate compare to its peers and the wider market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for the upcoming years by interacting with our free analyst growth expectation chart.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Loralce & Communications? 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.