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Is Smart Sand Inc’s (NASDAQ:SND) ROE Of 14.3% Sustainable?

Ingrid Hart

The content of this article will benefit those of you who are starting to educate yourself about investing in the stock market and want to begin learning the link between company’s fundamentals and stock market performance.

With an ROE of 14.3%, Smart Sand Inc (NASDAQ:SND) outpaced its own industry which delivered a less exciting 9.0% over the past year. Superficially, this looks great since we know that SND has generated big profits with little equity capital; however, ROE doesn’t tell us how much SND has borrowed in debt. Today, we’ll take a closer look at some factors like financial leverage to see how sustainable SND’s ROE is.

View our latest analysis for Smart Sand

What you must know about ROE

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of Smart Sand’s profit relative to its shareholders’ equity. For example, if the company invests $1 in the form of equity, it will generate $0.14 in earnings from this. 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. Smart Sand’s cost of equity is 10.0%. Since Smart Sand’s return covers its cost in excess of 4.3%, its use of equity capital is efficient and likely to be sustainable. Simply put, Smart Sand pays less 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

NasdaqGS:SND Last Perf September 13th 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 shows how much revenue Smart Sand can generate with its current asset base. The most interesting ratio, and reflective of sustainability of its ROE, is financial leverage. Since ROE can be inflated by excessive debt, we need to examine Smart Sand’s debt-to-equity level. At 22.3%, Smart Sand’s debt-to-equity ratio appears low and indicates the above-average ROE is generated from its capacity to increase profit without a large debt burden.

NasdaqGS:SND Historical Debt September 13th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. Smart Sand’s ROE is impressive relative to the industry average and also covers 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. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Smart Sand, there are three fundamental 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 Smart Sand 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 Smart Sand is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Smart Sand? 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.