A Close Look At Inspiration Healthcare Group plc’s (LON:IHC) 25% ROCE

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Today we are going to look at Inspiration Healthcare Group plc (LON:IHC) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. In particular, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that can give us insight into how profitably the company is able to employ capital in its business.

First, we’ll go over how we 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. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since ‘No two businesses are exactly alike.’

How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?

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 Inspiration Healthcare Group:

0.25 = UK£1.2m ÷ (UK£8.1m – UK£3.3m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2018.)

So, Inspiration Healthcare Group has an ROCE of 25%.

Check out our latest analysis for Inspiration Healthcare Group

Does Inspiration Healthcare Group Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. In our analysis, Inspiration Healthcare Group’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 12% average in the Medical Equipment industry. I think that’s good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Setting aside the comparison to its industry for a moment, Inspiration Healthcare Group’s ROCE in absolute terms currently looks quite high.

Our data shows that Inspiration Healthcare Group currently has an ROCE of 25%, compared to its ROCE of 9.3% 3 years ago. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly.

AIM:IHC Past Revenue and Net Income, February 19th 2019
AIM:IHC Past Revenue and Net Income, February 19th 2019

Remember that this metric is backwards looking – it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately predict the future. 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. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Inspiration Healthcare Group.

How Inspiration Healthcare Group’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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Inspiration Healthcare Group has total assets of UK£8.1m and current liabilities of UK£3.3m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 40% of its total assets. A medium level of current liabilities boosts Inspiration Healthcare Group’s ROCE somewhat.

The Bottom Line On Inspiration Healthcare Group’s ROCE

Still, it has a high ROCE, and may be an interesting prospect for further research. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

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. On rare occasion, data errors may occur. Thank you for reading.