Shareholders Should Look Hard At BioNeutra Global Corporation’s (CVE:BGA) 9.2% Return On Capital

Today we’ll evaluate BioNeutra Global Corporation (CVE:BGA) 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 of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. Last but not least, we’ll look at what impact its current liabilities have on 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. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since ‘No two businesses are exactly alike.’

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 BioNeutra Global:

0.092 = CA$2.4m ÷ (CA$40m – CA$14m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, BioNeutra Global has an ROCE of 9.2%.

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Does BioNeutra Global Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. We can see BioNeutra Global’s ROCE is meaningfully below the Personal Products industry average of 19%. This could be seen as a negative, as it suggests some competitors may be employing their capital more efficiently. Separate from how BioNeutra Global stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. It is possible that there are more rewarding investments out there.

Our data shows that BioNeutra Global currently has an ROCE of 9.2%, compared to its ROCE of 3.9% 3 years ago. This makes us think the business might be improving.

TSXV:BGA Past Revenue and Net Income, May 21st 2019
TSXV:BGA Past Revenue and Net Income, May 21st 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. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. If BioNeutra Global is cyclical, it could make sense to check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect BioNeutra Global’s ROCE?

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they need to be paid within 12 months. Due to the way ROCE is calculated, a high level of current liabilities makes a company look as though it has less capital employed, and thus can (sometimes unfairly) boost the ROCE. To counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

BioNeutra Global has total assets of CA$40m and current liabilities of CA$14m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 35% of its total assets. BioNeutra Global’s ROCE is improved somewhat by its moderate amount of current liabilities.

What We Can Learn From BioNeutra Global’s ROCE

Unfortunately, its ROCE is still uninspiring, and there are potentially more attractive prospects out there. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

I will like BioNeutra Global better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider 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.