Today we are going to look at Samse SA (EPA:SAMS) 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, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.
What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
ROCE is a measure of a company’s yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the 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’.
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 Samse:
0.085 = €59m ÷ (€1.2b – €459m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)
Therefore, Samse has an ROCE of 8.5%.
Does Samse Have A Good ROCE?
One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. In our analysis, Samse’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 6.9% average in the Specialty Retail industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Independently of how Samse compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.
You can see in the image below how Samse’s ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.
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. 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.
Samse’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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.
Samse has current liabilities of €459m and total assets of €1.2b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 40% of its total assets. Samse has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost the ROCE.
What We Can Learn From Samse’s ROCE
While its ROCE looks good, it’s worth remembering that the current liabilities are making the business look better. Samse 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.
I will like Samse better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
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