Orbotech Ltd (NASDAQ:ORBK)’s Return on Capital

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and looking to gauge the potential return on investment in Orbotech Ltd (NASDAQ:ORBK).

Buying Orbotech makes you a partial owner of the company. This share represents a portion of capital used by the company to operate the business, and it is important the company is able to use the capital base efficiently to create adequate cash flows for you as an investor. Your return is tied to ORBK’s ability to do this because the amount earned is used to invest in opportunities to grow the business or payout dividends, which are the two sources of return on investment. To understand Orbotech’s capital returns we will look at a useful metric called return on capital employed. This will tell us if the company is growing your capital and placing you in good stead to sell your shares at a profit.

View our latest analysis for Orbotech

What is Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)?

You only have a finite amount of capital to invest, so there are only so many companies that you can add to your portfolio. The cost of missing out on another opportunity comes in the form of the potential long term gain you could’ve received, which is dependent on the gap between the return on capital you could’ve achieved and that of the company you invested in. Hence, capital returns are very important, and should be examined before you invest in conjunction with a certain benchmark that represents the minimum return you require to be compensated for the risk of missing out on other potentially lucrative investments. A good metric to use is return on capital employed (ROCE), which helps us gauge how much income can be created from the funds needed to operate the business. This metric will tell us if Orbotech is good at growing investor capital. I have calculated Orbotech’s ROCE for you below:

ROCE Calculation for ORBK

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) = Earnings Before Tax (EBT) ÷ (Capital Employed)

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = US$166m ÷ (US$1.4b – US$282m) = 15%

ORBK’s 15% ROCE means that for every $100 you invest, the company creates $15.4. This makes Orbotech satisfactorily profitable when compared to a robust 15% ROCE yardstick. So if this rate continues in to the future and is able to either provide solid dividends or reinvestment opportunities, your capital will enlarge at a favourable rate over time.

NasdaqGS:ORBK Last Perf October 17th 18
NasdaqGS:ORBK Last Perf October 17th 18

Not so fast

The encouraging ROCE is good news for Orbotech investors if the company is able to maintain strong earnings and control their capital needs. But if this doesn’t occur, ORBK’s ROCE may deteriorate, in which case your money is better invested elsewhere. Because of this, it is important to look beyond the final value of ORBK’s ROCE and understand what is happening to the individual components. If you go back three years, you’ll find that ORBK’s ROCE has increased from 7.2%. Similarly, the movement in the earnings variable shows a jump from US$61m to US$166m whilst capital employed improved as well albeit by a relatively smaller amount, signifying ROCE increased as a result of a greater surge in earnings compared to the business’ use of capital.

Next Steps

ROCE for ORBK investors has grown in the last few years and is currently at a level that makes the company an attractive candidate that is capable of producing solid capital returns, and hence, an attractive return on investment. This makes the company an attractive place to put your money, but ROCE does not tell the whole picture so you need to pay attention to other fundamentals like future prospects and valuation. Without considering these fundamentals, you cannot be sure if this trend will continue or if you are getting a good deal for the future returns you are paying for. Orbotech’s fundamentals can be explored with the links I’ve provided below if you are interested, otherwise you can start looking at other high-performing stocks.

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ORBK’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ORBK’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is ORBK worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even if its ROCE is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether ORBK is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.