Are Zynex, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ZYXI) High Returns Really That Great?

Today we are going to look at Zynex, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZYXI) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. In particular, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that can give us insight into how profitably the company is able to employ capital in its business.

First up, we’ll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. Renowned investment researcher Michael Mauboussin has suggested that a high ROCE can indicate that ‘one dollar invested in the company generates value of more than one dollar’.

So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?

The formula for calculating the return on capital employed is:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

Or for Zynex:

0.51 = US$10m ÷ (US$25m – US$4.5m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

So, Zynex has an ROCE of 51%.

See our latest analysis for Zynex

Is Zynex’s ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Zynex’s ROCE appears to be substantially greater than the 9.4% average in the Medical Equipment industry. I think that’s good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Setting aside the comparison to its industry for a moment, Zynex’s ROCE in absolute terms currently looks quite high.

You can see in the image below how Zynex’s ROCE compares to its industry.

NasdaqCM:ZYXI Past Revenue and Net Income, November 14th 2019
NasdaqCM:ZYXI Past Revenue and Net Income, November 14th 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Zynex.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Zynex’s ROCE?

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they need to be paid within 12 months. Due to the way ROCE is calculated, a high level of current liabilities makes a company look as though it has less capital employed, and thus can (sometimes unfairly) boost the ROCE. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Zynex has total assets of US$25m and current liabilities of US$4.5m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 18% of its total assets. The fairly low level of current liabilities won’t have much impact on the already great ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Zynex’s ROCE

With low current liabilities and a high ROCE, Zynex could be worthy of further investigation. There might be better investments than Zynex out there, but you will have to work hard to find them . These promising businesses with rapidly growing earnings might be right up your alley.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.