Here’s What Storm Resources Ltd.’s (TSE:SRX) ROCE Can Tell Us

Today we are going to look at Storm Resources Ltd. (TSE:SRX) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. To be precise, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

First, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the ‘return’ (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. 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?

Analysts use this formula to calculate return on capital employed:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

Or for Storm Resources:

0.093 = CA$49m ÷ (CA$566m – CA$38m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Storm Resources has an ROCE of 9.3%.

Check out our latest analysis for Storm Resources

Does Storm Resources Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Storm Resources’s ROCE appears to be substantially greater than the 6.4% average in the Oil and Gas industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Storm Resources’s ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.

Storm Resources has an ROCE of 9.3%, but it didn’t have an ROCE 3 years ago, since it was unprofitable. This makes us wonder if the company is improving.

TSX:SRX Past Revenue and Net Income, April 18th 2019
TSX:SRX Past Revenue and Net Income, April 18th 2019

Remember that this metric is backwards looking – it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately predict the future. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Given the industry it operates in, Storm Resources could be considered cyclical. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Storm Resources.

Storm Resources’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE

Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. 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.

Storm Resources has total liabilities of CA$38m and total assets of CA$566m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 6.7% of its total assets. Storm Resources reports few current liabilities, which have a negligible impact on its unremarkable ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Storm Resources’s ROCE

Based on this information, Storm Resources appears to be a mediocre business. But note: make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.