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Liberty Broadband Corporation (NASDAQ:LBRD.K) Delivered A Better ROE Than The Industry, Here’s Why

Bryson Sharp

Liberty Broadband Corporation (NASDAQ:LBRD.K) outperformed the Cable and Satellite industry on the basis of its ROE – producing a higher 19.39% relative to the peer average of 12.27% over the past 12 months. Superficially, this looks great since we know that LBRD.K has generated big profits with little equity capital; however, ROE doesn’t tell us how much LBRD.K has borrowed in debt. In this article, we’ll closely examine some factors like financial leverage to evaluate the sustainability of LBRD.K’s ROE. View our latest analysis for Liberty Broadband

Breaking down ROE — the mother of all ratios

Firstly, Return on Equity, or ROE, is simply the percentage of last years’ earning against the book value of 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

ROE is measured against cost of equity in order to determine the efficiency of Liberty Broadband’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 8.72%. Since Liberty Broadband’s return covers its cost in excess of 10.67%, its use of equity capital is efficient and likely to be sustainable. Simply put, Liberty Broadband pays less for its capital than what it generates in return. ROE can be dissected into three distinct 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:LBRD.K Last Perf Mar 23rd 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. Asset turnover reveals how much revenue can be generated from Liberty Broadband’s asset base. And finally, financial leverage is simply how much of assets are funded by equity, which exhibits how sustainable the company’s capital structure is. Since financial leverage can artificially inflate ROE, we need to look at how much debt Liberty Broadband currently has. Currently the debt-to-equity ratio stands at a low 4.74%, which means its above-average ROE is driven by its ability to grow its profit without a significant debt burden.

NasdaqGS:LBRD.K Historical Debt Mar 23rd 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. Liberty Broadband’s ROE is impressive relative to the industry average and also covers its cost of equity. ROE is not likely to be inflated by excessive debt funding, giving shareholders more conviction in the sustainability of high returns. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Liberty Broadband, there are three fundamental factors you should further research:

  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 Liberty Broadband 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 Liberty Broadband is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Liberty Broadband? 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.