Today we’ll look at AKKA Technologies SE (EPA:AKA) and reflect on its potential as an investment. Specifically, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.
Firstly, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
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. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. 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 AKKA Technologies:
0.13 = €118m ÷ (€1.4b – €468m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)
Therefore, AKKA Technologies has an ROCE of 13%.
Does AKKA Technologies Have A Good ROCE?
When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. We can see AKKA Technologies’s ROCE is around the 15% average reported by the Professional Services industry. Separate from AKKA Technologies’s performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.
You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how AKKA Technologies’s past growth compares to other companies.
When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and not necessarily predictive. Companies in cyclical industries can be difficult to understand using ROCE, as returns typically look high during boom times, and low during busts. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
How AKKA Technologies’s Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE
Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills that 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.
AKKA Technologies has current liabilities of €468m and total assets of €1.4b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 34% of its total assets. With this level of current liabilities, AKKA Technologies’s ROCE is boosted somewhat.
Our Take On AKKA Technologies’s ROCE
With a decent ROCE, the company could be interesting, but remember that the level of current liabilities make the ROCE look better. AKKA Technologies looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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