Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Return on Average Equity (ROAE)


Return on Average Equity (ROAE) is a financial ratio that measures a company’s profitability in relation to the equity held by its investors over a certain period. It is calculated by dividing net income by the average shareholder equity and is expressed as a percentage. The ratio helps assess a company’s effectiveness in generating profit from its equity and is a significant indicator of financial health and performance.


Return on Average Equity (ROAE) in phonetics can be pronounced as:Ruh-turn on Av-er-ij Ek-wi-tee

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Return on Average Equity (ROAE) is a key financial metric that investors use to measure a company’s profitability relative to its equity. It essentially expresses how well a company is creating profits from the money shareholders have invested, providing insights on financial efficiency.</li><li>The formula for calculating ROAE is Net Income divided by Average Shareholder’s Equity. The Average Shareholder’s Equity is determined by adding the equity at the beginning and the end of the period, then dividing it by two. A higher ROAE indicates that the company is using its shareholders’ investments effectively to generate earnings.</li><li>While a high ROAE is typically a positive signal, it’s important for investors to make comparisons between companies in the same industry, as some sectors naturally have a higher ROAE due to lower amounts of total equity. Additionally, it’s imperative to analyze ROAE in conjunction with other financial metrics to ensure a more balanced perspective on a company’s financial health and performance.</li></ol>


Return on Average Equity (ROAE) is a critical measure in business and finance because it assesses a company’s profitability in relation to the equity invested by its shareholders. By comparing net income to average equity, ROAE provides key insights into how effectively a company utilizes investors’ funds to generate profit. This is crucial for stakeholders because higher ROAE values typically reflect more efficient use of equity, indicating a potentially more profitable and attractive investment. Conversely, lower ROAE can signal less effective use of investor equity. As such, ROAE is a valuable tool for comparing profitability across companies and industries, aiding investment assessment and decision-making processes.


The purpose of Return on Average Equity (ROAE) is to evaluate a corporation’s profitability by revealing how much profit a company generates with the money shareholders have invested. It is particularly useful when comparing the efficiency of different companies, or tracking a single company’s performance over time. Higher ROAE values generally indicate better use of investment capital. It’s a reliable measure for potential investors to make informed decisions as it clearly indicates a company’s ability to generate profits using its equity.ROAE has a broader usage in sectors like banking and finance where dividend payouts are regular and there is the high financial leverage involved. Since it considers average equity rather than end of period equity, it provides a more accurate performance picture when equity fluctuates significantly within the assessment period. Furthermore, companies strive to maintain a healthy ROAE to attract more investments. It serves as a critical tool for managers to set future financial strategies, underscoring its essential role in financial analysis.


1. Bank of America Corporation: In 2020, Bank of America reported a Return on Average Equity of 8%. This is calculated by dividing the net income of the bank in the fiscal year by the average shareholders equity for that year. This measure helps investors understand how effectively Bank of America is using their equity to generate profits.2. Apple Inc.: As of 2020, Apple had an ROAE of approximately 73%. This metric shows that Apple has been highly effective at using its equity to generate profits. Since investors look for companies that can efficiently leverage their equity for profit generation, this high ROAE makes Apple a potentially attractive investment.3. Johnson & Johnson: For the fiscal year ending in 2020, Johnson & Johnson reported a ROAE of about 25%. This suggests that the company is effectively using the equity invested in it to generate substantial returns for its shareholders. It reflects positively on the company’s management strategy and its efficacy in using its equity to generate profits.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does Return on Average Equity (ROAE) mean?

ROAE stands for Return on Average Equity. It is a financial measurement that is used to determine how efficiently a company is using its equity to generate profits. This is done by dividing net income by average shareholder equity.

How is ROAE calculated?

ROAE is calculated by taking the net income of a company for a certain period and dividing it by the average total equity during that same period. The result is then multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

What is the significance of ROAE in business finance?

ROAE is an important measurement in business finance because it provides an insight into how effectively a company is using its equity to generate profits. Companies with a higher ROAE are generally considered to be more efficiently managed and a more attractive investment.

How does the ROAE differ from the Return on Equity (ROE)?

While they are similar, ROAE differs from ROE in that it takes the average equity over a certain period into account, rather than just the equity at the end of the period. This gives a more accurate reflection of the company’s performance over the entirety of the period being analysed.

What is considered a good ROAE?

The definition of a ‘good’ ROAE can vary depending on the industry and the economic climate. However, typically a ‘good’ ROAE is one that is higher than the company’s cost of equity, as this would indicate that the company is generating a return that is higher than the cost of the funds it has utilized.

Can a company have a negative ROAE?

Yes, a company can have a negative ROAE. This typically occurs when a company is making a loss. When this happens, it indicates that the company’s management has not been effective in using shareholders’ equity to generate profits.

How can a company improve its ROAE?

A company can improve its ROAE by increasing its net income or by more efficiently managing its equity. This can involve taking steps to boost sales revenue, reduce costs, or manage assets more effectively.

Related Finance Terms

  • Equity Capital
  • Net Income
  • Financial Performance Ratios
  • Average Shareholder’s Equity
  • Profitability Analysis

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More