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With An ROE Of 7.70%, Can ACNB Corporation (NASDAQ:ACNB) Catch Up To The Industry?

Ingrid Hart

This article is intended for those of you who are at the beginning of your investing journey and looking to gauge the potential return on investment in ACNB Corporation (NASDAQ:ACNB).

ACNB Corporation’s (NASDAQ:ACNB) most recent return on equity was a substandard 7.70% relative to its industry performance of 8.45% over the past year. Though ACNB’s recent performance is underwhelming, it is useful to understand what ROE is made up of and how it should be interpreted. Knowing these components can change your views on ACNB’s below-average returns. Metrics such as financial leverage can impact the level of ROE which in turn can affect the sustainability of ACNB’s returns. Let me show you what I mean by this. Check out our latest analysis for ACNB

What you must know about ROE

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of ACNB’s profit relative to its shareholders’ equity. For example, if the company invests $1 in the form of equity, it will generate $0.077 in earnings from this. 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 ACNB, which is 9.96%. This means ACNB’s returns actually do not cover its own cost of equity, with a discrepancy of -2.26%. This isn’t sustainable as it implies, very simply, that the company pays more for its capital than what it generates 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:ACNB Last Perf June 27th 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. The other component, asset turnover, illustrates how much revenue ACNB 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 ACNB’s debt-to-equity level. The debt-to-equity ratio currently stands at a sensible 82.21%, meaning the ROE is a result of its capacity to produce profit growth without a huge debt burden.

NasdaqCM:ACNB Historical Debt June 27th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. ACNB exhibits a weak ROE against its peers, as well as insufficient levels to cover its own cost of equity this year. Although, its appropriate level of leverage means investors can be more confident in the sustainability of ACNB’s return with a possible increase should the company decide to increase its debt levels. ROE is a helpful signal, but it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision.

For ACNB, I’ve compiled three important 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. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market’s sentiment for ACNB’s future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of ACNB? 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.