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With An ROE Of 18.71%, Has SORL Auto Parts Inc’s (NASDAQ:SORL) Management Done A Good Job?

Jason Fuller

SORL Auto Parts Inc (NASDAQ:SORL) outperformed the Auto Parts and Equipment industry on the basis of its ROE – producing a higher 18.71% relative to the peer average of 17.75% over the past 12 months. On the surface, this looks fantastic since we know that SORL has made large profits from little equity capital; however, ROE doesn’t tell us if management have borrowed heavily to make this happen. In this article, we’ll closely examine some factors like financial leverage to evaluate the sustainability of SORL’s ROE. View our latest analysis for SORL Auto Parts

Breaking down Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of SORL Auto Parts’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 assessed against cost of equity, which is measured using the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) – but let’s not dive into the details of that today. For now, let’s just look at the cost of equity number for SORL Auto Parts, which is 12.18%. Given a positive discrepancy of 6.52% between return and cost, this indicates that SORL Auto Parts pays less for its capital than what it generates in return, which is a sign of capital efficiency. 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

NasdaqGM:SORL Last Perf Jan 2nd 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 reveals how much revenue can be generated from SORL Auto Parts’s asset base. The most interesting ratio, and reflective of sustainability of its ROE, is financial leverage. Since financial leverage can artificially inflate ROE, we need to look at how much debt SORL Auto Parts currently has. The debt-to-equity ratio currently stands at a low 42.18%, meaning the above-average ROE is due to its capacity to produce profit growth without a huge debt burden.

NasdaqGM:SORL Historical Debt Jan 2nd 18

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? SORL’s above-industry ROE is encouraging, and is also in excess of its cost of equity. Since its high ROE is not likely driven by high debt, it might be a good time to top up on your current holdings if your fundamental research reaffirms this analysis. 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 SORL has been on your watch list for a while, making an investment decision based on ROE alone is unwise. I recommend you do additional fundamental analysis by looking through our most recent infographic report on SORL Auto Parts 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.