Advertisement
Australia markets closed
  • ALL ORDS

    8,058.60
    +59.40 (+0.74%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.6650
    +0.0019 (+0.29%)
     
  • ASX 200

    7,788.30
    +60.70 (+0.79%)
     
  • OIL

    78.25
    +0.53 (+0.68%)
     
  • GOLD

    2,346.20
    +11.70 (+0.50%)
     
  • Bitcoin AUD

    103,158.77
    -900.78 (-0.87%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,482.72
    -1.47 (-0.10%)
     

Is Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NCLH) A High Quality Stock To Own?

One of the best investments we can make is in our own knowledge and skill set. With that in mind, this article will work through how we can use Return On Equity (ROE) to better understand a business. To keep the lesson grounded in practicality, we'll use ROE to better understand Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NCLH).

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE can be calculated by using the formula:

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

ADVERTISEMENT

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is:

55% = US$166m ÷ US$301m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.55 in profit.

Does Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Have A Good Return On Equity?

One simple way to determine if a company has a good return on equity is to compare it to the average for its industry. The limitation of this approach is that some companies are quite different from others, even within the same industry classification. As is clear from the image below, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has a better ROE than the average (17%) in the Hospitality industry.

roe
roe

That is a good sign. Bear in mind, a high ROE doesn't always mean superior financial performance. A higher proportion of debt in a company's capital structure may also result in a high ROE, where the high debt levels could be a huge risk .

Why You Should Consider Debt When Looking At ROE

Most companies need money -- from somewhere -- to grow their profits. That cash can come from retained earnings, issuing new shares (equity), or debt. In the first and second cases, the ROE will reflect this use of cash for investment in the business. 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.

Combining Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' Debt And Its 55% Return On Equity

It seems that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings uses a huge volume of debt to fund the business, since it has an extremely high debt to equity ratio of 46.69. While its ROE is no doubt quite impressive, it could give a false impression about the company's returns given that its huge debt could be boosting those returns.

Conclusion

Return on equity is useful for comparing the quality of different businesses. A company that can achieve a high return on equity without debt could be considered a high quality business. If two companies have the same ROE, then I would generally prefer the one with less debt.

But ROE is just one piece of a bigger puzzle, since high quality businesses often trade on high multiples of earnings. 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.

If you would prefer check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity 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.