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Is HD Supply Holdings Inc’s (NASDAQ:HDS) ROE Of 15.4% Sustainable?

Devin Koller

I am writing today to help inform people who are new to the stock market and want to learn about Return on Equity using a real-life example.

HD Supply Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:HDS) delivered an ROE of 15.4% over the past 12 months, which is an impressive feat relative to its industry average of 11.7% during the same period. While the impressive ratio tells us that HDS has made significant profits from little equity capital, ROE doesn’t tell us if HDS has borrowed debt to make this happen. In this article, we’ll closely examine some factors like financial leverage to evaluate the sustainability of HDS’s ROE.

See our latest analysis for HD Supply Holdings

Breaking down Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of HD Supply Holdings’s profit relative to 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

ROE is measured against cost of equity in order to determine the efficiency of HD Supply Holdings’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 9.7%. Since HD Supply Holdings’s return covers its cost in excess of 5.7%, its use of equity capital is efficient and likely to be sustainable. Simply put, HD Supply Holdings pays less for its capital than what it generates 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

NasdaqGS:HDS Last Perf September 10th 18

The first component is profit margin, which measures how much of sales is retained after the company pays for all its expenses. The other component, asset turnover, illustrates how much revenue HD Supply Holdings can make from its 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 inflated by excessive debt, we need to examine HD Supply Holdings’s debt-to-equity level. At 136%, HD Supply Holdings’s debt-to-equity ratio appears balanced and indicates the above-average ROE is generated from its capacity to increase profit without a large debt burden.

NasdaqGS:HDS Historical Debt September 10th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is a simple yet informative ratio, illustrating the various components that each measure the quality of the overall stock. HD Supply Holdings’s ROE is impressive relative to the industry average and also covers 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 HD Supply Holdings, I’ve put together three key factors you should further examine:

  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 HD Supply Holdings 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 HD Supply Holdings is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of HD Supply Holdings? 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 past 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. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.