Returns On Capital Signal Difficult Times Ahead For Suominen Oyj (HEL:SUY1V)

Published
June 14, 2022
HLSE:SUY1V
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What financial metrics can indicate to us that a company is maturing or even in decline? More often than not, we'll see a declining return on capital employed (ROCE) and a declining amount of capital employed. This indicates to us that the business is not only shrinking the size of its net assets, but its returns are falling as well. So after we looked into Suominen Oyj (HEL:SUY1V), the trends above didn't look too great.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. To calculate this metric for Suominen Oyj, this is the formula:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

0.053 = €12m ÷ (€387m - €155m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

Therefore, Suominen Oyj has an ROCE of 5.3%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Household Products industry average of 8.8%.

See our latest analysis for Suominen Oyj

roce
HLSE:SUY1V Return on Capital Employed June 14th 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Suominen Oyj compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Suominen Oyj.

What Can We Tell From Suominen Oyj's ROCE Trend?

In terms of Suominen Oyj's historical ROCE movements, the trend doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, the ROCE was 11% five years ago, but since then it has dropped noticeably. Meanwhile, capital employed in the business has stayed roughly the flat over the period. This combination can be indicative of a mature business that still has areas to deploy capital, but the returns received aren't as high due potentially to new competition or smaller margins. If these trends continue, we wouldn't expect Suominen Oyj to turn into a multi-bagger.

While on the subject, we noticed that the ratio of current liabilities to total assets has risen to 40%, which has impacted the ROCE. If current liabilities hadn't increased as much as they did, the ROCE could actually be even lower. And with current liabilities at these levels, suppliers or short-term creditors are effectively funding a large part of the business, which can introduce some risks.

The Bottom Line On Suominen Oyj's ROCE

All in all, the lower returns from the same amount of capital employed aren't exactly signs of a compounding machine. Investors haven't taken kindly to these developments, since the stock has declined 35% from where it was five years ago. Unless there is a shift to a more positive trajectory in these metrics, we would look elsewhere.

One more thing: We've identified 4 warning signs with Suominen Oyj (at least 1 which shouldn't be ignored) , and understanding them would certainly be useful.

For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.

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About HLSE:SUY1V

Suominen Oyj

Suominen Oyj manufactures and sells nonwovens as roll goods for wipes and other applications in Finland, the Americas, the rest of Europe, and internationally.

Good value with reasonable growth potential.