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Friedman Industries Incorporated (NYSEMKT:FRD): Can It Deliver A Superior ROE To The Industry?

Kristin Rankin

Friedman Industries Incorporated (AMEX:FRD) generated a below-average return on equity of 0.37% in the past 12 months, while its industry returned 11.07%. Though FRD’s recent performance is underwhelming, it is useful to understand what ROE is made up of and how it should be interpreted. Knowing these components can change your views on FRD’s below-average returns. Metrics such as financial leverage can impact the level of ROE which in turn can affect the sustainability of FRD’s returns. Let me show you what I mean by this. View our latest analysis for Friedman Industries

What you must know about ROE

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs Friedman Industries’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. 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. Friedman Industries’s cost of equity is 10.57%. Given a discrepancy of -10.20% between return and cost, this indicated that Friedman Industries may be paying more for its capital than what it’s generating in return. ROE can be broken down into three different 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

AMEX:FRD Last Perf Jun 6th 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 Friedman Industries can generate with its current 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 artificially increased through excessive borrowing, we should check Friedman Industries’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. Currently the debt-to-equity ratio stands at a low 6.15%, which means Friedman Industries still has headroom to take on more leverage in order to increase profits.

AMEX:FRD Historical Debt Jun 6th 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. Friedman Industries’s ROE is underwhelming relative to the industry average, and its returns were also not strong enough to cover its own cost of equity. Although, its appropriate level of leverage means investors can be more confident in the sustainability of Friedman Industries’s return with a possible increase should the company decide to increase its debt levels. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Friedman Industries, I’ve compiled three pertinent aspects 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 Friedman Industries’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 Friedman Industries? 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.