# With A Return On Equity Of 5.9%, Has Guangdong Aofei Data Technology Co., Ltd.'s (SZSE:300738) Management Done Well?

Simply Wall St ·  Nov 25, 2023 19:08

While some investors are already well versed in financial metrics (hat tip), this article is for those who would like to learn about Return On Equity (ROE) and why it is important. We'll use ROE to examine Guangdong Aofei Data Technology Co., Ltd. (SZSE:300738), by way of a worked example.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors' money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

Check out our latest analysis for Guangdong Aofei Data Technology

## How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Guangdong Aofei Data Technology is:

5.9% = CN¥180m ÷ CN¥3.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every CN¥1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated CN¥0.06 in profit.

## Does Guangdong Aofei Data Technology Have A Good Return On Equity?

By comparing a company's ROE with its industry average, we can get a quick measure of how good it is. However, this method is only useful as a rough check, because companies do differ quite a bit within the same industry classification. You can see in the graphic below that Guangdong Aofei Data Technology has an ROE that is fairly close to the average for the IT industry (5.8%).

So while the ROE is not exceptional, at least its acceptable. Even if the ROE is respectable when compared to the industry, its worth checking if the firm's ROE is being aided by high debt levels. If so, this increases its exposure to financial risk. To know the 2 risks we have identified for Guangdong Aofei Data Technology visit our risks dashboard for free.

## The Importance Of Debt To Return On Equity

Most companies need money -- from somewhere -- to grow their profits. That cash can come from issuing shares, retained earnings, or debt. In the first two cases, the ROE will capture this use of capital to grow. In the latter case, the debt used for growth will improve returns, but won't affect the total equity. In this manner the use of debt will boost ROE, even though the core economics of the business stay the same.

## Guangdong Aofei Data Technology's Debt And Its 5.9% ROE

Guangdong Aofei Data Technology does use a high amount of debt to increase returns. It has a debt to equity ratio of 1.44. With a fairly low ROE, and significant use of debt, it's hard to get excited about this business at the moment. Debt increases risk and reduces options for the company in the future, so you generally want to see some good returns from using it.

## Summary

Return on equity is useful for comparing the quality of different businesses. Companies that can achieve high returns on equity without too much debt are generally of good quality. If two companies have the same ROE, then I would generally prefer the one with less debt.

Having said that, while ROE is a useful indicator of business quality, you'll have to look at a whole range of factors to determine the right price to buy a stock. Profit growth rates, versus the expectations reflected in the price of the stock, are a particularly important to consider. So I think it may be worth checking this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Of course Guangdong Aofei Data Technology may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have high ROE and low debt.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of any specific investment or investment strategy.