Does DATA Communications Management Corp (TSE:DCM)’s Capital Return Make The Cut?

The content of this article will benefit those of you who are starting to educate yourself about investing in the stock market and looking to gauge the potential return on investment in DATA Communications Management Corp (TSE:DCM).

If you purchase a DCM 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. Your return is tied to DCM’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. Therefore, looking at how efficiently DATA Communications Management is able to use capital to create earnings will help us understand your potential return. Investors use many different metrics but the analysis below focuses on return on capital employed (ROCE). Let’s take a look at what it can tell us.

View our latest analysis for DATA Communications Management

What is Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)?

When you choose to invest in a company, there is an opportunity cost because that money could’ve been invested elsewhere. 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. To determine DATA Communications Management’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). I have calculated DATA Communications Management’s ROCE for you below:

ROCE Calculation for DCM

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

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = CA$4.8m ÷ (CA$143m – CA$63m) = 13%

As you can see, DCM earned CA$12.7 from every CA$100 you invested over the previous twelve months. Comparing this to a healthy 15% benchmark shows DATA Communications Management is currently unable to return a desired amount to owners for the use of their capital, which isn’t favourable for investors who have forgone other potentially solid companies.

TSX:DCM Last Perf December 4th 18
TSX:DCM Last Perf December 4th 18

Why is this the case?

The underperforming ROCE is not ideal for DATA Communications Management investors if the company is unable to turn things around. But if the underlying variables (earnings and capital employed) improve, DCM’s ROCE may increase, in which case your portfolio could benefit from holding the company. Therefore, investors need to understand the trend of the inputs in the formula above, so that they can see if there is an opportunity to invest. Looking at the past 3 year period shows us that DCM weakened investor return on capital employed from 28%. In this time, earnings have fallen from CA$8.9m to CA$4.8m and capital employed also decreased but to a smaller extent, which means the company’s ROCE has deteriorated due to a decline in earnings relative to the capital invested in the business.

Next Steps

DCM’s investors have experienced a downward trend in ROCE and it is currently at a level that makes us question whether the company is capable of providing a suitable return on investment. Before making any decisions, ROCE does not tell the whole picture so you need to pay attention to other fundamentals like the management team and valuation. DATA Communications Management’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. Management:Have insiders been ramping up their shares to take advantage of the market’s sentiment for DATA Communications Management’s future outlook? Check out our management and board analysis with insights on CEO compensation and governance factors.
  2. Valuation: What is DCM 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 DCM 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.