Here’s What Fellow Finance Oyj’s (HEL:FELLOW) Return On Capital Can Tell Us

Today we’ll evaluate Fellow Finance Oyj (HEL:FELLOW) 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.

Firstly, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting 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. 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’.

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 Fellow Finance Oyj:

0.12 = €3.4m ÷ (€32m – €4.7m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

Therefore, Fellow Finance Oyj has an ROCE of 12%.

See our latest analysis for Fellow Finance Oyj

Is Fellow Finance Oyj’s ROCE Good?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. It appears that Fellow Finance Oyj’s ROCE is fairly close to the Interactive Media and Services industry average of 13%. Regardless of where Fellow Finance Oyj sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

HLSE:FELLOW Past Revenue and Net Income, April 9th 2019
HLSE:FELLOW Past Revenue and Net Income, April 9th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Fellow Finance Oyj’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE

Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that need to be paid within 12 months. Due to the way the ROCE equation works, having large bills due in the near term can make it look as though a company has less capital employed, and thus a higher ROCE than usual. To counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Fellow Finance Oyj has total assets of €32m and current liabilities of €4.7m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 14% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

The Bottom Line On Fellow Finance Oyj’s ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, Fellow Finance Oyj could be worth a closer look. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

I will like Fellow Finance Oyj 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.