Shareholders Should Look Hard At Siili Solutions Oyj’s (HEL:SIILI) 8.3% Return On Capital

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Today we’ll evaluate Siili Solutions Oyj (HEL:SIILI) 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.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting 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. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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 Siili Solutions Oyj:

0.083 = €2.7m ÷ (€49m – €16m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Siili Solutions Oyj has an ROCE of 8.3%.

See our latest analysis for Siili Solutions Oyj

Is Siili Solutions Oyj’s ROCE Good?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, Siili Solutions Oyj’s ROCE appears to be significantly below the 13% average in the IT industry. This could be seen as a negative, as it suggests some competitors may be employing their capital more efficiently. Aside from the industry comparison, Siili Solutions Oyj’s ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.

Siili Solutions Oyj’s current ROCE of 8.3% is lower than its ROCE in the past, which was 27%, 3 years ago. This makes us wonder if the business is facing new challenges.

HLSE:SIILI Past Revenue and Net Income, May 29th 2019
HLSE:SIILI Past Revenue and Net Income, May 29th 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. You can check if Siili Solutions Oyj has cyclical profits by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Do Siili Solutions Oyj’s Current Liabilities Skew Its ROCE?

Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills that need to be paid within 12 months. Due to the way the ROCE equation works, having large bills due in the near term can make it look as though a company has less capital employed, and thus a higher ROCE than usual. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Siili Solutions Oyj has total liabilities of €16m and total assets of €49m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 32% of its total assets. Siili Solutions Oyj has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost its ROCE somewhat.

The Bottom Line On Siili Solutions Oyj’s ROCE

Despite this, its ROCE is still mediocre, and you may find more appealing investments elsewhere. You might be able to find a better investment than Siili Solutions Oyj. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.