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With An ROE Of 13.0%, Has Bank of South Carolina Corporation’s (NASDAQ:BKSC) Management Done Well?

Ben Rossbaum

This article is intended for those of you who are at the beginning of your investing journey and want to begin learning the link between company’s fundamentals and stock market performance.

Bank of South Carolina Corporation (NASDAQ:BKSC) delivered an ROE of 13.0% over the past 12 months, which is an impressive feat relative to its industry average of 8.2% during the same period. On the surface, this looks fantastic since we know that BKSC has made large profits from little equity capital; however, ROE doesn’t tell us if management have borrowed heavily to make this happen. Today, we’ll take a closer look at some factors like financial leverage to see how sustainable BKSC’s ROE is.

See our latest analysis for Bank of South Carolina

Breaking down Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs Bank of South Carolina’s profit against the level of its shareholders’ equity. An ROE of 13.0% implies $0.13 returned on every $1 invested. 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

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. Bank of South Carolina’s cost of equity is 10.8%. This means Bank of South Carolina returns enough to cover its own cost of equity, with a buffer of 2.2%. This sustainable practice implies that the company 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

NasdaqCM:BKSC Last Perf September 11th 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 Bank of South Carolina’s 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 Bank of South Carolina’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. Currently, Bank of South Carolina 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.

NasdaqCM:BKSC Historical Debt September 11th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. Bank of South Carolina’s above-industry ROE is encouraging, and is also in excess of 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. ROE is a helpful signal, but it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision.

For Bank of South Carolina, I’ve compiled three essential factors 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. Valuation: What is Bank of South Carolina 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 Bank of South Carolina is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Bank of South Carolina? 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.