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Is Hailiang Education Group Inc’s (NASDAQ:HLG) 16.58% ROE Good Enough Compared To Its Industry?

Raj Burman

Hailiang Education Group Inc (NASDAQ:HLG) outperformed the Education Services industry on the basis of its ROE – producing a higher 16.58% relative to the peer average of 10.69% over the past 12 months. While the impressive ratio tells us that HLG has made significant profits from little equity capital, ROE doesn’t tell us if HLG has borrowed debt to make this happen. In this article, we’ll closely examine some factors like financial leverage to evaluate the sustainability of HLG’s ROE. See our latest analysis for Hailiang Education Group

What you must know about ROE

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs Hailiang Education Group’s profit against the level of its shareholders’ equity. For example, if the company invests $1 in the form of equity, it will generate $0.17 in earnings from this. While a higher ROE is preferred in most cases, there are several other factors we should consider before drawing any conclusions.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

ROE is measured against cost of equity in order to determine the efficiency of Hailiang Education Group’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 9.68%. This means Hailiang Education Group returns enough to cover its own cost of equity, with a buffer of 6.90%. This sustainable practice implies that the company 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

NasdaqGM:HLG Last Perf Dec 21st 17

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. Asset turnover shows how much revenue Hailiang Education Group 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 Hailiang Education Group’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. Currently, Hailiang Education Group 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.

NasdaqGM:HLG Historical Debt Dec 21st 17

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? HLG exhibits a strong ROE against its peers, as well as sufficient returns to cover its cost of equity. Since ROE is not inflated by excessive debt, it might be a good time to add more of HLG to your portfolio if your personal research is confirming what the ROE is telling you. If you’re looking for new ideas for high-returning stocks, you should take a look at our free platform to see the list of stocks with Return on Equity over 20%.

Are you a potential investor? If you are considering investing in HLG, basing your decision on ROE alone is certainly not sufficient. I recommend you do additional fundamental analysis by looking through our most recent infographic report on Hailiang Education Group to help you make a more informed investment decision.


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.