SHW AG (FRA:SW1): What Are Investors Earning On Their Capital?

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want a simplistic look at the return on SHW AG (FRA:SW1) stock.

SHW stock represents an ownership share in the company. 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. This is because the actual cash flow generated by the business dictates the potential for income (dividends) and capital appreciation (price increases), which are the two ways to achieve positive returns when buying a stock. To understand SHW’s capital returns we will look at a useful metric called return on capital employed. This will tell us if the company is growing your capital and placing you in good stead to sell your shares at a profit.

SHW’s Return On Capital Employed

When you choose to invest in a company, there is an opportunity cost because that money could’ve been invested elsewhere. 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 SHW’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). SW1’s ROCE is calculated below:

ROCE Calculation for SW1

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

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = €15.79m ÷ (€256.10m – €90.85m) = 9.55%

SW1’s 9.55% ROCE means that for every €100 you invest, the company creates €9.6. This shows SHW provides a dull capital return that is below the 15% ROCE that is typically considered to be a strong benchmark. Nevertheless, if SW1 is clever with their reinvestments or dividend payments, investors can still grow their capital but may fall behind other more attractive opportunities in the market.

Then why have investors invested?

SW1 doesn’t return an attractive amount on capital, but this will only continue if the company is unable to increase earnings or decrease current capital requirements. 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 three years in the past, it is evident that SW1’s ROCE has deteriorated from 16.75%, indicating the company’s capital returns have declined. In this time, earnings have fallen from €20.52m to €15.79m and capital employed has increased due to a hike in the level of total assets employed , which means the company’s ROCE has shrunk as a result of falling earnings and simultaneous increases in capital requirements.

Next Steps

ROCE for SW1 investors has fallen in the last few years and 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 future prospects and valuation. If you’re building your portfolio and want to take a deeper look, I’ve added a few links below that will help you further evaluate SW1 or move on to other alternatives.

1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SW1’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SW1’s outlook.
2. Valuation: What is SW1 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 SW1 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.