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Return on Equity

Understanding Return on Equity (ROE): A Key Performance Indicator


Return on Equity (ROE) is a vital performance indicator in finance, often used to gauge the profitability of a company.

Return on Equity (ROE)


Return on Equity (ROE) represents the financial return on the shareholders' equity of a company. It is expressed as a percentage and measures a company's profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested.

Context and Use

ROE is widely used by investors and analysts to compare the profitability of different companies within the same industry. A higher ROE implies better financial efficiency and profitability.

Detailed Explanation

ROE is calculated using the following formula:

ROE = Net Income / Shareholder's Equity

Here's a brief explanation of the components:

  • Net Income: This is the total earnings (or profit) of a company after subtracting all costs and expenses, including tax and interest.

  • Shareholder's Equity: This refers to the net value of a company, which equals its assets minus liabilities. It represents the residual interest in the assets of an entity after deducting liabilities.


If a company has a net income of $1 million and shareholder's equity of $5 million, the ROE would be 20%.

Related Terms

  • Return on Assets (ROA): This is a profitability ratio that shows how efficiently a company can manage its assets to produce profits during a period.

  • Return on Invested Capital (ROIC): This metric measures the return that an investment generates for those who provide capital, i.e., bondholders and stockholders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Why is Return on Equity (ROE) important? A: ROE is significant because it provides investors with a measure of how effectively a company's management is using the company’s capital to create profits.

Q: Is a higher ROE always better? A: A higher ROE can indicate that a company is effectively managing its assets to generate profits, but extremely high ROE might indicate the firm has taken on a large amount of debt.

Key Takeaways

ROE is a crucial performance indicator that provides insights into a company's financial efficiency and profitability. It's important to use ROE in conjunction with other metrics for a comprehensive financial analysis.


While ROE is a critical tool in financial analysis, it's only one of many metrics used to evaluate a company's financial health and profitability. Therefore, it should be used in combination with other financial metrics when assessing a company's investment potential.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Always seek professional advice before making any financial decisions.