Boasting A 39% Return On Equity, Is Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAY) A Top Quality Stock?

Yoshiko Yap

Many investors are still learning about the various metrics that can be useful when analysing a stock. This article is for those who would like to learn about Return On Equity (ROE). To keep the lesson grounded in practicality, we’ll use ROE to better understand Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLAY).

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company’s management is utilizing the company’s capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Dave & Buster’s Entertainment

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Dave & Buster’s Entertainment is:

39% = US$140m ÷ US$360m (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2023).

The ‘return’ is the yearly profit. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders’ equity, the company generated $0.39 in profit.

Does Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Have A Good ROE?

One simple way to determine if a company has a good return on equity is to compare it to the average for its industry. Importantly, this is far from a perfect measure, because companies differ significantly within the same industry classification. As you can see in the graphic below, Dave & Buster’s Entertainment has a higher ROE than the average (17%) in the Hospitality industry.

NasdaqGS:PLAY Return on Equity June 13th 2023

That’s clearly a positive. However, bear in mind that a high ROE doesn’t necessarily indicate efficient profit generation. Aside from changes in net income, a high ROE can also be the outcome of high debt relative to equity, which indicates risk. Our risks dashboardshould have the 2 risks we have identified for Dave & Buster’s Entertainment.

The Importance Of Debt To Return On Equity

Virtually all companies need money to invest in the business, to grow profits. That cash can come from issuing shares, retained earnings, 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 required for growth will boost returns, but will not impact the shareholders’ equity. Thus the use of debt can improve ROE, albeit along with extra risk in the case of stormy weather, metaphorically speaking.

Combining Dave & Buster’s Entertainment’s Debt And Its 39% Return On Equity

It seems that Dave & Buster’s Entertainment uses a huge volume of debt to fund the business, since it has an extremely high debt to equity ratio of 3.42. Its ROE is clearly quite good, but it seems to be boosted by the significant use of debt by the company.


Return on equity is useful for comparing the quality of different businesses. In our books, the highest quality companies have high return on equity, despite low debt. All else being equal, a higher ROE is better.

But ROE is just one piece of a bigger puzzle, since high quality businesses often trade on high multiples of earnings. The rate at which profits are likely to grow, relative to the expectations of profit growth reflected in the current price, must be considered, too. So you might want to take a peek at this data-rich interactive graph of 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.

What are the risks and opportunities for Dave & Buster’s Entertainment?

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. owns and operates entertainment and dining venues for adults and families in North America.

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  • Price-To-Earnings ratio (12.3x) is below the US market (15.3x)

  • Earnings are forecast to grow 20.66% per year


  • Interest payments are not well covered by earnings

  • Profit margins (6.6%) are lower than last year (10.5%)

View all Risks and Rewards

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.

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