China Yuchai International Limited (NYSE:CYD) Might Not Be A Great Investment

Today we’ll evaluate China Yuchai International Limited (NYSE:CYD) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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 of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. 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’.

How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?

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 China Yuchai International:

0.091 = CN¥1.1b ÷ (CN¥22b – CN¥9.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, China Yuchai International has an ROCE of 9.1%.

Check out our latest analysis for China Yuchai International

Does China Yuchai International Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. In this analysis, China Yuchai International’s ROCE appears meaningfully below the 12% average reported by the Machinery industry. This performance is not ideal, as it suggests the company may not be deploying its capital as effectively as some competitors. Separate from how China Yuchai International stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. It is possible that there are more rewarding investments out there.

In our analysis, China Yuchai International’s ROCE appears to be 9.1%, compared to 3 years ago, when its ROCE was 7.2%. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly. Take a look at the image below to see how China Yuchai International’s past growth compares to the average in its industry.

NYSE:CYD Past Revenue and Net Income, September 20th 2019
NYSE:CYD Past Revenue and Net Income, September 20th 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. 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. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for China Yuchai International.

China Yuchai International’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they need to be paid within 12 months. The ROCE equation subtracts current liabilities from capital employed, so a company with a lot of current liabilities appears to have less capital employed, and a higher ROCE than otherwise. To counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

China Yuchai International has total liabilities of CN¥9.6b and total assets of CN¥22b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 44% of its total assets. China Yuchai International has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost its ROCE somewhat.

What We Can Learn From China Yuchai International’s ROCE

With this level of liabilities and a mediocre ROCE, there are potentially better investments out there. But note: make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

I will like China Yuchai International better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider 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.