Return on Equity Analysis
Return on Equity Analysis

See Also:
Financial Ratios
Return on Asset
Required Rate of Return
Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)
Debt to Equity Ratio
Return on Common Equity (ROCE)
What The CEO Wants You to Know How Your Company Really Works

Return on Equity Analysis

Defined also as return on net worth (RONW), return on equity reveals how much profit a company earned in comparison to the money a shareholder has invested.

Return on Equity Explanation

This term is explained as a measure of how well a company uses investment dollars to generate profits. Return on equity is more important to a shareholder than return on investment (ROI) because it tells investors how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Therefore, a company with high return on equity is more successful to generate cash internally. Investors are always looking for companies with high and growing returns on equity. However, not all high ROE companies make good investments. The better benchmark is to compare a company’s return on equity with its industry average. Generally, the higher the ratio, the better a company is.
[box][highlight]Are you in the process of selling your company? The first thing to do is to identify “destroyers” that can impact your company’s value. Click here to download your free “Top 10 Destroyers of Value“.[/highlight][/box]

Return on Equity Formula

The following return on equity formula forms a simple example for solving ROE problems.

Return on Equity Ratio = Net income ÷ Average shareholders equity

When solving return on equity, equation solutions only form part of the problem. Thus, one must be able to apply the equation to a variety of different and changing scenarios.

Return on Equity Calculation

Average shareholders’ equity, or return on equity, is calculated by adding the shareholders’ equity at the beginning of a period to the shareholders’ equity at period’s end and dividing the result by two. Unfortunately, no simple return on equity calculator can complete the job that a solid understanding of ROE can.
For example, a company has $6,000 in net income, and $20,000 in average shareholders’ equity.

Return on equity: $6,000 / $20,000 =30%

In conclusion, a company that has $0.3 of net income for every dollar that has been invested by shareholder.

Return on Equity Example

Melanie, after seeing success in her corporate career, has left the comfortable life to become an angel investor. She has worked diligently to select companies and their managers, hold these managers accountable to their promises, provide advice and mentoring, and lead her partners to capitalization while minimizing risk. At this stage, Melanie is ready to receive her pay-out. Melanie wants to know her Return on Equity analysis ratio for one of her client companies.
Melanie begins by finding the net income and average shareholder’s equity for the venture. Looking back to her records, Melanie has invested $20,000 in the business. Her net income from it is $6,000 per year. Performing her return on equity analysis yields the following results:

Return on equity: $6,000 / $20,000 =30%

Melanie is happy with her results. Because she was purposeful and started small, she built the experience and confidence to be successful. She can now move on to bigger and better deals.
If you’re looking to sell your company, download the free Top 10 Destroyers of Value whitepaper to learn how to maximize your value.
return on equity analysis
[box]Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra
Access your Exit Strategy Checklist Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get the most value out of your company when you sell.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?
Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs[/box]

return on equity analysis
For statistical information about industry financial ratios, please go to the following websites: and


The Accounting Gap Between Large and Small Companies

The Accounting Gap: It’s unfortunate, but true. A large gap exists between the accounting departments of large or publicly traded companies and smaller or private companies. In our past 25 years of consulting we’ve noticed that more often than not, these smaller/private companies will fill the gap with Bookkeepers, rather than the degreed Accountants/CPAs they

Read More »

The Struggles of Private Company Accounting

Building your Accounting Department… When I meet a business owner operating at a successful $10+ mil in revenue I often hear them say “My CPA…” and I immediately know they are referring to a tax CPA. One thing ALL entrepreneurs have in common is that they have to file a tax return. So from day

Read More »

Financial Ratios

See also:Quick Ratio AnalysisPrice to Book Value AnalysisPrice Earnings Growth Ratio AnalysisTime Interest Earned Ratio Analysis Use of Financial Ratios Financial Ratios are used to measure financial performance against standards. Analysts compare financial ratios to industry averages (benchmarking), industry standards or rules of thumbs and against internal trends (trends analysis). The most useful comparison when

Read More »


Financial Leadership Workshop

MARCH 28TH-31ST 2022


Financial Leadership Workshop


June 12-15th, 2023

WIKI CFO® - Browse hundreds of articles