Is Delko S.A.’s (WSE:DEL) Capital Allocation Ability Worth Your Time?

Today we are going to look at Delko S.A. (WSE:DEL) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we’re going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Last but not least, we’ll look at what impact its current liabilities have on its ROCE.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

ROCE measures the ‘return’ (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since ‘No two businesses are exactly alike.

How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?

Analysts use this formula to calculate return on capital employed:

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

Or for Delko:

0.17 = zł21m ÷ (zł250m – zł131m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

Therefore, Delko has an ROCE of 17%.

See our latest analysis for Delko

Is Delko’s ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. It appears that Delko’s ROCE is fairly close to the Retail Distributors industry average of 17%. Regardless of where Delko sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

The image below shows how Delko’s ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

WSE:DEL Past Revenue and Net Income, March 1st 2020
WSE:DEL Past Revenue and Net Income, March 1st 2020

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. Companies in cyclical industries can be difficult to understand using ROCE, as returns typically look high during boom times, and low during busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. If Delko is cyclical, it could make sense to check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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

Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Delko has total assets of zł250m and current liabilities of zł131m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 52% of its total assets. Delko’s current liabilities are fairly high, which increases its ROCE significantly.

Our Take On Delko’s ROCE

While its ROCE looks decent, it wouldn’t look so good if it reduced current liabilities. There might be better investments than Delko 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.