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How DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) Delivered A Better ROE Than Its Industry

Ricardo Landis

I am writing today to help inform people who are new to the stock market and want to begin learning the link between DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE)’s return fundamentals and stock market performance.

DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) delivered an ROE of 10.32% over the past 12 months, which is an impressive feat relative to its industry average of 10.10% during the same period. Superficially, this looks great since we know that DTE has generated big profits with little equity capital; however, ROE doesn’t tell us how much DTE has borrowed in debt. In this article, we’ll closely examine some factors like financial leverage to evaluate the sustainability of DTE’s ROE. View out our latest analysis for DTE Energy

Breaking down Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs DTE Energy’s profit against the level of its shareholders’ equity. It essentially shows how much the company can generate in earnings given the amount of equity it has raised. 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

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. DTE Energy’s cost of equity is 8.59%. Given a positive discrepancy of 1.73% between return and cost, this indicates that DTE Energy 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

NYSE:DTE Last Perf June 21st 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 DTE Energy 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 DTE Energy’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. Currently the debt-to-equity ratio stands at a balanced 124.73%, which means its above-average ROE is driven by its ability to grow its profit without a significant debt burden.

NYSE:DTE Historical Debt June 21st 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. DTE Energy’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. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For DTE Energy, I’ve compiled three important 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. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market’s sentiment for DTE Energy’s future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of DTE Energy? 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.