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Did Nutrisystem Inc (NASDAQ:NTRI) Create Value For Shareholders?

Bryan Cramer

Nutrisystem Inc (NASDAQ:NTRI) delivered an ROE of 42.61% over the past 12 months, which is an impressive feat relative to its industry average of 15.36% during the same period. Superficially, this looks great since we know that NTRI has generated big profits with little equity capital; however, ROE doesn’t tell us how much NTRI has borrowed in debt. We’ll take a closer look today at factors like financial leverage to determine whether NTRI’s ROE is actually sustainable. Check out our latest analysis for Nutrisystem

Peeling the layers of ROE – trisecting a company’s profitability

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of Nutrisystem’s profit relative to its shareholders’ equity. An ROE of 42.61% implies $0.43 returned on every $1 invested. 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

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 Nutrisystem, which is 12.60%. This means Nutrisystem returns enough to cover its own cost of equity, with a buffer of 30.01%. This sustainable practice implies that the company 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

NasdaqGS:NTRI Last Perf Mar 13th 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. The other component, asset turnover, illustrates how much revenue Nutrisystem can make from its 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 Nutrisystem currently has. Currently, Nutrisystem 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:NTRI Historical Debt Mar 13th 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. Nutrisystem’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. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

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