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Here’s What FORTEC Elektronik AG’s (ETR:FEV) ROCE Can Tell Us

Today we’ll evaluate FORTEC Elektronik AG (ETR:FEV) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.

Firstly, we’ll go over how we 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.

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

ROCE is a measure of a company’s yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the 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 FORTEC Elektronik:

0.16 = €7.0m ÷ (€56m – €11m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Therefore, FORTEC Elektronik has an ROCE of 16%.

Check out our latest analysis for FORTEC Elektronik

Is FORTEC Elektronik’s ROCE Good?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. In our analysis, FORTEC Elektronik’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 11% average in the Electronic industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Regardless of where FORTEC Elektronik sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. 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 FORTEC Elektronik.

How FORTEC Elektronik’s Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE

Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

FORTEC Elektronik has total liabilities of €11m and total assets of €56m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 20% of its total assets. Low current liabilities are not boosting the ROCE too much.

Our Take On FORTEC Elektronik’s ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, FORTEC Elektronik could be worth a closer look. FORTEC Elektronik looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.

I will like FORTEC Elektronik 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.