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Why Restore PLC (AIM:RST) Delivered An Inferior ROE Compared To The Industry

Luis Baughman

Restore PLC’s (AIM:RST) most recent return on equity was a substandard 5.27% relative to its industry performance of 15.19% over the past year. RST'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 RST’s performance. Today I will look at how components such as financial leverage can influence ROE which may impact the sustainability of RST's returns. View our latest analysis for Restore

What you must know about ROE

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of RST’s profit relative to its shareholders’ equity. An ROE of 5.27% implies £0.05 returned on every £1 invested. 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

ROE is measured against cost of equity in order to determine the efficiency of RST’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 8.30%. Since RST’s return does not cover its cost, with a difference of -3.03%, this means its current use of equity is not efficient and not sustainable. Very simply, RST pays more for its capital than what it generates in return. ROE can be dissected into three distinct 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

AIM:RST Last Perf Oct 9th 17

Basically, profit margin measures how much of revenue trickles down into earnings which illustrates how efficient RST is with its cost management. Asset turnover reveals how much revenue can be generated from RST’s 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 RST’s debt-to-equity level. The debt-to-equity ratio currently stands at a sensible 62.42%, meaning the ROE is a result of its capacity to produce profit growth without a huge debt burden.

AIM:RST Historical Debt Oct 9th 17

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? RST’s ROE is underwhelming relative to the industry average, and its returns were also not strong enough to cover its own cost of equity. However, investors shouldn’t despair since ROE is not inflated by excessive debt, which means RST still has room to improve shareholder returns by raising debt to fund new investments. If you're looking for new ideas for high-returning stocks, you should take a look at our free platform to see the list of stocks with Return on Equity over 20%.

Are you a potential investor? If RST has been on your watch list for a while, making an investment decision based on ROE alone is unwise. I recommend you do additional fundamental analysis by looking through our most recent infographic report on Restore to help you make a more informed investment decision.

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.