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Will Self Storage Group ASA (OB:SSG) Continue To Underperform Its Industry?

Wade Goff

Self Storage Group ASA (OB:SSG) delivered a less impressive 8.02% ROE over the past year, compared to the 10.84% return generated by its industry. Though SSG’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 SSG’s below-average returns. I will take you through how metrics such as financial leverage impact ROE which may affect the overall sustainability of SSG’s returns. View our latest analysis for Self Storage Group

Breaking down ROE — the mother of all ratios

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs Self Storage Group’s profit against the level of its shareholders’ equity. An ROE of 8.02% implies NOK0.08 returned on every NOK1 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

ROE is measured against cost of equity in order to determine the efficiency of Self Storage Group’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 8.40%. Given a discrepancy of -0.38% between return and cost, this indicated that Self Storage Group may be paying more for its capital than what it’s generating 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

OB:SSG Last Perf Jun 6th 18

The first component is profit margin, which measures how much of sales is retained after the company pays for all its expenses. Asset turnover reveals how much revenue can be generated from Self Storage Group’s 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 financial leverage can artificially inflate ROE, we need to look at how much debt Self Storage Group currently has. The debt-to-equity ratio currently stands at a low 19.55%, meaning Self Storage Group still has headroom to borrow debt to increase profits.

OB:SSG Historical Debt Jun 6th 18

Next Steps:

While ROE is a relatively simple calculation, it can be broken down into different ratios, each telling a different story about the strengths and weaknesses of a company. Self Storage Group 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 Self Storage Group, I’ve compiled three key 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. Valuation: What is Self Storage Group 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 Self Storage Group is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Self Storage Group? 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.