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Why MAN SE (FRA:MAN) Delivered An Inferior ROE Compared To The Industry

Willa Russo

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 MAN SE (FRA:MAN)’s return fundamentals and stock market performance.

MAN SE (FRA:MAN) generated a below-average return on equity of 4.96% in the past 12 months, while its industry returned 11.55%. An investor may attribute an inferior ROE to a relatively inefficient performance, and whilst this can often be the case, knowing the nuts and bolts of the ROE calculation may change that perspective and give you a deeper insight into MAN’s past performance. I will take you through how metrics such as financial leverage impact ROE which may affect the overall sustainability of MAN’s returns. Check out our latest analysis for MAN

Breaking down ROE — the mother of all ratios

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs MAN’s profit against the level of its shareholders’ equity. For example, if the company invests €1 in the form of equity, it will generate €0.050 in earnings from this. Generally speaking, a higher ROE is preferred; however, there are other factors we must also consider before making any conclusions.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. MAN’s cost of equity is 10.04%. Given a discrepancy of -5.08% between return and cost, this indicated that MAN 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

DB:MAN Last Perf June 22nd 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. Asset turnover reveals how much revenue can be generated from MAN’s asset base. And finally, financial leverage is simply how much of assets are funded by equity, which exhibits how sustainable the company’s capital structure is. Since ROE can be artificially increased through excessive borrowing, we should check MAN’s historic debt-to-equity ratio. The debt-to-equity ratio currently stands at a sensible 50.64%, meaning the ROE is a result of its capacity to produce profit growth without a huge debt burden.

DB:MAN Historical Debt June 22nd 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. MAN 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 MAN, 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 MAN 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 MAN is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of MAN? 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.