Why We Like HELMA Eigenheimbau Aktiengesellschaft’s (ETR:H5E) 9.0% Return On Capital Employed

Today we’ll evaluate HELMA Eigenheimbau Aktiengesellschaft (ETR:H5E) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. In particular, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that can give us insight into how profitably the company is able to employ capital in its business.

First up, we’ll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

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

ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. 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?

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 HELMA Eigenheimbau:

0.09 = €22m ÷ (€311m – €70m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2018.)

Therefore, HELMA Eigenheimbau has an ROCE of 9.0%.

Does HELMA Eigenheimbau Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. HELMA Eigenheimbau’s ROCE appears to be substantially greater than the 6.8% average in the Consumer Durables industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Regardless of where HELMA Eigenheimbau sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

Remember that this metric is backwards looking – it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately predict the future. Companies in cyclical industries can be difficult to understand using ROCE, as returns typically look high during boom times, and low during busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for HELMA Eigenheimbau.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect HELMA Eigenheimbau’s 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.

HELMA Eigenheimbau has total liabilities of €70m and total assets of €311m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 23% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

What We Can Learn From HELMA Eigenheimbau’s ROCE

Overall, HELMA Eigenheimbau has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. But note: HELMA Eigenheimbau 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).

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.