Shanthi Gears Limited’s (NSE:SHANTIGEAR) Investment Returns Are Lagging Its Industry

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Today we’ll evaluate Shanthi Gears Limited (NSE:SHANTIGEAR) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

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. 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 Shanthi Gears:

0.10 = ₹307m ÷ (₹3.5b – ₹493m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Therefore, Shanthi Gears has an ROCE of 10%.

See our latest analysis for Shanthi Gears

Is Shanthi Gears’s ROCE Good?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, Shanthi Gears’s ROCE appears to be significantly below the 13% average in the Machinery industry. This could be seen as a negative, as it suggests some competitors may be employing their capital more efficiently. Independently of how Shanthi Gears compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is low; especially compared to the ~7.6% available in government bonds. Readers may wish to look for more rewarding investments.

In our analysis, Shanthi Gears’s ROCE appears to be 10%, compared to 3 years ago, when its ROCE was 4.9%. This makes us think the business might be improving.

NSEI:SHANTIGEAR Past Revenue and Net Income, July 12th 2019
NSEI:SHANTIGEAR Past Revenue and Net Income, July 12th 2019

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. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Shanthi Gears.

Shanthi Gears’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Shanthi Gears has total liabilities of ₹493m and total assets of ₹3.5b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 14% of its total assets. With a very reasonable level of current liabilities, so the impact on ROCE is fairly minimal.

The Bottom Line On Shanthi Gears’s ROCE

Shanthi Gears has a poor ROCE, and there may be better investment prospects out there. Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than Shanthi Gears. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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.