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With An ROE Of 6.61%, Can Willamette Valley Vineyards Inc (NASDAQ:WVVI) Catch Up To The Industry?

Willamette Valley Vineyards Inc (NASDAQ:WVVI) delivered a less impressive 6.61% ROE over the past year, compared to the 12.28% return generated by its industry. WVVI’s results could indicate a relatively inefficient operation to its peers, and while this may be the case, it is important to understand what ROE is made up of and how it should be interpreted. Knowing these components could change your view on WVVI’s performance. Metrics such as financial leverage can impact the level of ROE which in turn can affect the sustainability of WVVI’s returns. Let me show you what I mean by this. View our latest analysis for Willamette Valley Vineyards

Breaking down Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of Willamette Valley Vineyards’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 Willamette Valley Vineyards’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 8.49%. Given a discrepancy of -1.88% between return and cost, this indicated that Willamette Valley Vineyards may be paying more for its capital than what it’s generating 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

NasdaqCM:WVVI Last Perf May 15th 18
NasdaqCM:WVVI Last Perf May 15th 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 Willamette Valley Vineyards 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 artificially increased through excessive borrowing, we should check Willamette Valley Vineyards’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. At 19.12%, Willamette Valley Vineyards’s debt-to-equity ratio appears low and indicates that Willamette Valley Vineyards still has room to increase leverage and grow its profits.

NasdaqCM:WVVI Historical Debt May 15th 18
NasdaqCM:WVVI Historical Debt May 15th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is a simple yet informative ratio, illustrating the various components that each measure the quality of the overall stock. Willamette Valley Vineyards exhibits a weak ROE against its peers, as well as insufficient levels to cover its own cost of equity this year. However, ROE is not likely to be inflated by excessive debt funding, giving shareholders more conviction in the sustainability of returns, which has headroom to increase further. ROE is a helpful signal, but it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision.

For Willamette Valley Vineyards, I’ve compiled three pertinent aspects 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. Future Earnings: How does Willamette Valley Vineyards’s growth rate compare to its peers and the wider market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for the upcoming years by interacting with our free analyst growth expectation chart.

  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Willamette Valley Vineyards? 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.