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Why Bonanza Creek Energy Inc (NYSE:BCEI) Delivered An Inferior ROE Compared To The Industry

Ashwin Virk

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 start learning about core concepts of fundamental analysis on practical examples from today’s market.

Bonanza Creek Energy Inc’s (NYSE:BCEI) most recent return on equity was a substandard 2.43% relative to its industry performance of 10.92% over the past year. BCEI’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 BCEI’s performance. Metrics such as financial leverage can impact the level of ROE which in turn can affect the sustainability of BCEI’s returns. Let me show you what I mean by this.

Check out our latest analysis for Bonanza Creek Energy

Breaking down Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs Bonanza Creek Energy’s profit against the level of 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

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. Bonanza Creek Energy’s cost of equity is 9.02%. This means Bonanza Creek Energy’s returns actually do not cover its own cost of equity, with a discrepancy of -6.58%. 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

NYSE:BCEI Last Perf August 14th 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 Bonanza Creek Energy’s asset base. The most interesting ratio, and reflective of sustainability of its ROE, is financial leverage. Since ROE can be artificially increased through excessive borrowing, we should check Bonanza Creek Energy’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. The debt-to-equity ratio currently stands at a low 8.45%, meaning Bonanza Creek Energy still has headroom to borrow debt to increase profits.

NYSE:BCEI Historical Debt August 14th 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. Bonanza Creek Energy’s ROE is underwhelming relative to the industry average, and its returns were also not strong enough to cover its own cost of equity. Although, its appropriate level of leverage means investors can be more confident in the sustainability of Bonanza Creek Energy’s return with a possible increase should the company decide to increase its debt levels. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Bonanza Creek Energy, there are three fundamental 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 Bonanza Creek Energy’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 Bonanza Creek Energy? 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.