Return on Equity (ROE)

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on January 29, 2024

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Define ROE in Simple Terms

Return On Equity, or ROE, is a measurement of financial performance arrived at by dividing net income by shareholder equity.

Because shareholder equity is equal to a business's assets minus its debts, ROE can also be considered the return on net assets.

ROE, therefore, is sometimes used to estimate how efficiently a company's management is able to generate profit with the assets they have available.

ROE Formula

Return on equity is calculated as follows:

ROE Example

For example, say that two competing stores both earn $100 million in income over a period. Store A has $200 million in equity, whereas Store B has $500 million.

Store A's ROE would be 50%, and Store B's would be 20%. Store A has managed to earn the same income with less equity, leading to a higher ROE.

This may indicate that Store A is better managed than Store B, and thus would be a better investment.

However, prudent investors will also take many other factors into consideration, such as earnings per share, return on invested capital, and return on total assets, before deciding to invest.

Return on Equity (ROE) FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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