Shareholders Should Look Hard At Delfingen Industry S.A.’s (EPA:ALDEL) 9.9% Return On Capital

Today we’ll evaluate Delfingen Industry S.A. (EPA:ALDEL) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. To be precise, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

Firstly, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. 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’.

How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?

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 Delfingen Industry:

0.099 = €11m ÷ (€174m – €59m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Delfingen Industry has an ROCE of 9.9%.

See our latest analysis for Delfingen Industry

Is Delfingen Industry’s ROCE Good?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. Using our data, Delfingen Industry’s ROCE appears to be significantly below the 13% average in the Auto Components industry. This performance could be negative if sustained, as it suggests the business may underperform its industry. Regardless of where Delfingen Industry sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

ENXTPA:ALDEL Past Revenue and Net Income, April 24th 2019
ENXTPA:ALDEL Past Revenue and Net Income, April 24th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and 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, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Delfingen Industry’s ROCE?

Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. 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.

Delfingen Industry has total liabilities of €59m and total assets of €174m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 34% of its total assets. Delfingen Industry has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost the ROCE.

Our Take On Delfingen Industry’s ROCE

With a decent ROCE, the company could be interesting, but remember that the level of current liabilities make the ROCE look better. There might be better investments than Delfingen Industry out there, but you will have to work hard to find them . These promising businesses with rapidly growing earnings might be right up your alley.

I will like Delfingen Industry 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.