Why Eagle Health Holdings Limited’s (ASX:EHH) Return On Capital Employed Is Impressive

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Today we are going to look at Eagle Health Holdings Limited (ASX:EHH) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.

First, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. Finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

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

ROCE is a measure of a company’s yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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’.

How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?

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 Eagle Health Holdings:

0.31 = AU$19m ÷ (AU$75m – AU$13m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2018.)

So, Eagle Health Holdings has an ROCE of 31%.

Check out our latest analysis for Eagle Health Holdings

Is Eagle Health Holdings’s ROCE Good?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. In our analysis, Eagle Health Holdings’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 17% average in the Personal Products industry. I think that’s good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Putting aside its position relative to its industry for now, in absolute terms, Eagle Health Holdings’s ROCE is currently very good.

ASX:EHH Past Revenue and Net Income, February 21st 2019
ASX:EHH Past Revenue and Net Income, February 21st 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. You can check if Eagle Health Holdings has cyclical profits by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

How Eagle Health Holdings’s Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE

Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills that need to be paid within 12 months. Due to the way the ROCE equation works, having large bills due in the near term can make it look as though a company has less capital employed, and thus a higher ROCE than usual. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Eagle Health Holdings has total assets of AU$75m and current liabilities of AU$13m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 17% of its total assets. This is quite a low level of current liabilities which would not greatly boost the already high ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Eagle Health Holdings’s ROCE

Low current liabilities and high ROCE is a good combination, making Eagle Health Holdings look quite interesting. But note: Eagle Health Holdings may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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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.