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Why Ying Li International Real Estate Limited’s (SGX:5DM) ROE Of 6.54% Does Not Tell The Whole Story

Becky Mayes

This article is intended for those of you who are at the beginning of your investing journey and want to start learning about core concepts of fundamental analysis on practical examples from today’s market.

Ying Li International Real Estate Limited (SGX:5DM) delivered a less impressive 6.54% ROE over the past year, compared to the 6.68% return generated by its industry. 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 5DM’s past performance. Today I will look at how components such as financial leverage can influence ROE which may impact the sustainability of 5DM’s returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Ying Li International Real Estate

Breaking down Return on Equity

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of Ying Li International Real Estate’s profit relative to its shareholders’ equity. It essentially shows how much the company can generate in earnings given the amount of equity it has raised. 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. Ying Li International Real Estate’s cost of equity is 11.84%. Given a discrepancy of -5.30% between return and cost, this indicated that Ying Li International Real Estate may be paying more for its capital than what it’s generating 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

SGX:5DM Last Perf August 10th 18

Essentially, profit margin shows how much money the company makes after paying for all its expenses. Asset turnover shows how much revenue Ying Li International Real Estate can generate with its current asset base. The most interesting ratio, and reflective of sustainability of its ROE, is financial leverage. Since financial leverage can artificially inflate ROE, we need to look at how much debt Ying Li International Real Estate currently has. The debt-to-equity ratio currently stands at a sensible 73.56%, meaning the ROE is a result of its capacity to produce profit growth without a huge debt burden.

SGX:5DM Historical Debt August 10th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. Ying Li International Real Estate exhibits a weak ROE against its peers, as well as insufficient levels to cover its own cost of equity this year. Although, its appropriate level of leverage means investors can be more confident in the sustainability of Ying Li International Real Estate’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 Ying Li International Real Estate, there are three relevant aspects 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. Valuation: What is Ying Li International Real Estate 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 Ying Li International Real Estate is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Ying Li International Real Estate? 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.