U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 59 mins
  • S&P 500

    4,063.04
    -89.06 (-2.14%)
     
  • Dow 30

    33,587.66
    -681.50 (-1.99%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    13,031.68
    -357.75 (-2.67%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,132.86
    -74.13 (-3.36%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    65.82
    +0.54 (+0.83%)
     
  • Gold

    1,819.90
    -16.20 (-0.88%)
     
  • Silver

    27.10
    -0.56 (-2.03%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2080
    -0.0072 (-0.5919%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.6950
    +0.0710 (+4.37%)
     
  • Vix

    28.25
    +6.41 (+29.35%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.4057
    -0.0087 (-0.6171%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    109.6200
    +1.0000 (+0.9206%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    48,666.85
    -6,358.70 (-11.56%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,468.19
    -95.64 (-6.12%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,004.63
    +56.64 (+0.82%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,147.51
    -461.08 (-1.61%)
     

Can Evoqua Water Technologies Corp.'s (NYSE:AQUA) ROE Continue To Surpass The Industry Average?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Simply Wall St
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

One of the best investments we can make is in our own knowledge and skill set. With that in mind, this article will work through how we can use Return On Equity (ROE) to better understand a business. We'll use ROE to examine Evoqua Water Technologies Corp. (NYSE:AQUA), by way of a worked example.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Evoqua Water Technologies

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Evoqua Water Technologies is:

19% = US$85m ÷ US$447m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.19 in profit.

Does Evoqua Water Technologies Have A Good ROE?

Arguably the easiest way to assess company's ROE is to compare it with the average in its industry. Importantly, this is far from a perfect measure, because companies differ significantly within the same industry classification. Pleasingly, Evoqua Water Technologies has a superior ROE than the average (11%) in the Machinery industry.

roe
roe

That is a good sign. With that said, a high ROE doesn't always indicate high profitability. Aside from changes in net income, a high ROE can also be the outcome of high debt relative to equity, which indicates risk. To know the 4 risks we have identified for Evoqua Water Technologies visit our risks dashboard for free.

How Does Debt Impact ROE?

Most companies need money -- from somewhere -- to grow their profits. That cash can come from issuing shares, retained earnings, or debt. In the first two cases, the ROE will capture this use of capital to grow. In the latter case, the debt used for growth will improve returns, but won't affect the total equity. That will make the ROE look better than if no debt was used.

Combining Evoqua Water Technologies' Debt And Its 19% Return On Equity

Evoqua Water Technologies clearly uses a high amount of debt to boost returns, as it has a debt to equity ratio of 1.94. There's no doubt its ROE is decent, but the very high debt the company carries is not too exciting to see. Debt increases risk and reduces options for the company in the future, so you generally want to see some good returns from using it.

Summary

Return on equity is a useful indicator of the ability of a business to generate profits and return them to shareholders. In our books, the highest quality companies have high return on equity, despite low debt. If two companies have the same ROE, then I would generally prefer the one with less debt.

Having said that, while ROE is a useful indicator of business quality, you'll have to look at a whole range of factors to determine the right price to buy a stock. Profit growth rates, versus the expectations reflected in the price of the stock, are a particularly important to consider. So you might want to check this FREE visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.