Veris Limited (ASX:VRS): What Are Investors Earning On Their Capital?

The content of this article will benefit those of you who are starting to educate yourself about investing in the stock market and want to begin learning the link between Veris Limited (ASX:VRS)’s return fundamentals and stock market performance.

If you purchase a VRS share you are effectively becoming a partner with many other shareholders. As a result, your investment is being put to work to fund operations and if you want to earn an attractive return on your investment, the business needs to be making an adequate amount of money from the funds you provide. You need to pay attention to this because your return on investment is linked to dividends and internal investments to improve the business, which can only occur if the company is expected to produce adequate earnings with the capital that has been provided. Thus, to understand how your money can grow by investing in Veris, you need to look at what the company returns to owners for the use of their capital, which can be done in many ways but today we will use return on capital employed (ROCE).

Check out our latest analysis for Veris

Veris’s Return On Capital Employed

You only have a finite amount of capital to invest, so there are only so many companies that you can add to your portfolio. Accordingly, before you invest you need to assess the capital returns that the company has produced with reference to a certain benchmark to ensure that you are confident in the business’ ability to grow your capital at a level that grants an investment over other companies. To determine Veris’s capital return we will use ROCE, which tells us how much the company makes from the capital employed in their operations (for things like machinery, wages etc). Take a look at the formula box beneath:

ROCE Calculation for VRS

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

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = AU$2.79m ÷ (AU$96.97m – AU$19.98m) = 3.62%

The calculation above shows that VRS’s earnings were 3.62% of capital employed. This makes Veris disappointing when compared to a robust 15% ROCE yardstick. So if this rate continues in to the future, investor capital may be able to compound over time, but not to standard that investors should be aiming for.

ASX:VRS Last Perf August 17th 18
ASX:VRS Last Perf August 17th 18

Then why have investors invested?

Although Veris is in an unfavourable position, you should know that this could change if the company is able to increase earnings on the same capital base or find new efficiencies that require less capital to produce earnings. So it is important for investors to understand what is going on under the hood and look at how these variables have been behaving. If you go back three years, you’ll find that VRS’s ROCE has decreased from 4.20%. With this, the current earnings of AU$2.79m improved from AU$2.03m however capital employed has increased by a proportionally greater amount because of a hike in the level of total assets and a smaller reliance on current liabilities (less borrowing to fund operations) , which suggests investor’s ROCE has fallen because the company requires more capital to create earnings despite the previous growth in EBT.

Next Steps

Veris’s ROCE has decreased in the recent past and is currently at a level that makes us question whether the company is capable of providing a suitable return on investment. However, it is important to know that ROCE does not dictate returns alone, so you need to consider other fundamentals in the business such as future prospects and valuation. Veris’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 VRS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for VRS’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is VRS worth today? Despite the unattractive ROCE, is the outlook correctly factored in to the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether VRS is currently undervalued 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.