Today we’ll evaluate Terveystalo Oyj (HEL:TTALO) 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. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. 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 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’.
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 Terveystalo Oyj:
0.067 = €74m ÷ (€1.4b – €266m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)
Therefore, Terveystalo Oyj has an ROCE of 6.7%.
Does Terveystalo Oyj Have A Good ROCE?
When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. We can see Terveystalo Oyj’s ROCE is meaningfully below the Healthcare industry average of 8.5%. This could be seen as a negative, as it suggests some competitors may be employing their capital more efficiently. Separate from how Terveystalo Oyj stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.
We can see that , Terveystalo Oyj currently has an ROCE of 6.7% compared to its ROCE 3 years ago, which was 3.8%. This makes us think the business might be improving.
It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Terveystalo Oyj.
Terveystalo Oyj’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE
Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they need to be paid within 12 months. 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.
Terveystalo Oyj has total assets of €1.4b and current liabilities of €266m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 20% of its total assets. This is a modest level of current liabilities, which would only have a small effect on ROCE.
The Bottom Line On Terveystalo Oyj’s ROCE
That said, Terveystalo Oyj’s ROCE is mediocre, there may be more attractive investments around. 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).
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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 email@example.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.