Breaking Down ROE Using the DuPont Formula
by Joe Lan, CFA
Return on equityis a commonly used profitability ratio that measures the effectiveness of management in generating earnings for shareholders.
Return on equity measures net income less preferred dividends against total stockholder’s equity. The three primary drivers of ROE are better sales (or turnover), greater margins and higher debt levels, each of which can lead to a higher ROE. Although return on equity is a useful tool, it does not tell you what factors are helping or hurting the company’s performance. The DuPont formula addresses this concern by breaking down ROE and allowing investors to see which characteristics are driving ROE. Analysis of the DuPont formula allows you to determine whether management is gener
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