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Is New York & Company Inc’s (NYSE:NWY) ROE Of 15.37% Sustainable?

Daisy Mock

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.

With an ROE of 15.37%, New York & Company Inc (NYSE:NWY) outpaced its own industry which delivered a less exciting 12.54% over the past year. While the impressive ratio tells us that NWY has made significant profits from little equity capital, ROE doesn’t tell us if NWY has borrowed debt to make this happen. In this article, we’ll closely examine some factors like financial leverage to evaluate the sustainability of NWY’s ROE.

See our latest analysis for New York

What you must know about ROE

Return on Equity (ROE) weighs New York’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. 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

ROE is measured against cost of equity in order to determine the efficiency of New York’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 8.59%. Since New York’s return covers its cost in excess of 6.78%, its use of equity capital is efficient and likely to be sustainable. Simply put, New York pays less for its capital than what it generates in return. ROE can be broken down into three different 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:NWY Last Perf August 23rd 18

The first component is profit margin, which measures how much of sales is retained after the company pays for all its expenses. The other component, asset turnover, illustrates how much revenue New York can make from its asset base. Finally, financial leverage will be our main focus today. It shows how much of assets are funded by equity and can show how sustainable the company’s capital structure is. Since financial leverage can artificially inflate ROE, we need to look at how much debt New York currently has. Currently, New York has no debt which means its returns are driven purely by equity capital. Therefore, the level of financial leverage has no impact on ROE, and the ratio is a representative measure of the efficiency of all its capital employed firm-wide.

NYSE:NWY Historical Debt August 23rd 18

Next Steps:

ROE is a simple yet informative ratio, illustrating the various components that each measure the quality of the overall stock. New York’s above-industry ROE is encouraging, and is also in excess of its cost of equity. ROE is not likely to be inflated by excessive debt funding, giving shareholders more conviction in the sustainability of high returns. ROE is a helpful signal, but it is definitely not sufficient on its own to make an investment decision.

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