# What Should You Know About NMC Health Plc’s (LON:NMC) Capital Returns?

NMC Health stock represents an ownership share in the company. Your equity share is granted in return for the capital provided to the business to operate, and in order for an investment to be successful the business has to create earnings from the funds that make up this capital. You need to pay attention to this because your return on investment is linked to dividends and internal investments to improve the business, which can only occur if the company is expected to produce adequate earnings with the capital that has been provided. Therefore, looking at how efficiently NMC Health is able to use capital to create earnings will help us understand your potential return. Investors use many different metrics but the analysis below focuses on return on capital employed (ROCE). Let’s take a look at what it can tell us.

### ROCE: Explanation and Calculation

Choosing to invest in NMC Health comes at the cost of investing in another potentially favourable company. Accordingly, before you invest you need to assess the capital returns that the company has produced with reference to a certain benchmark to ensure that you are confident in the business’ ability to grow your capital at a level that grants an investment over other companies. We’ll look at NMC Health’s returns by computing return on capital employed, which will tell us what the company can generate from the money spent in operations. Take a look at the formula box beneath:

ROCE Calculation for NMC

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) = Earnings Before Tax (EBT) ÷ (Capital Employed)

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = US\$239m ÷ (US\$3.6b – US\$837m) = 12%

NMC’s 12% ROCE means that for every £100 you invest, the company creates £11.8. A good ROCE hurdle you should aim for in your investments is 15%, which NMC has just fallen short of, meaning the company creates an unideal amount of earnings from capital employed.

### Then why have investors invested?

Although NMC Health is in an unfavourable position, you should know that this could change if the company is able to increase earnings on the same capital base or find new efficiencies that require less capital to produce earnings. Because of this, it is important to look beyond the final value of NMC’s ROCE and understand what is happening to the individual components. Looking at the past 3 year period shows us that NMC boosted investor return on capital employed from 9.6%. Similarly, the movement in the earnings variable shows a jump from US\$78m to US\$239m whilst capital employed improved as well albeit by a relatively smaller amount, signifying ROCE increased as a result of a greater surge in earnings compared to the business’ use of capital.

### Next Steps

Despite NMC’s current ROCE remains at an unattractive level, the company has triggered an upward trend over the recent past which could signal an opportunity for a solid return on investment in the long term. It is important to know that ROCE does not dictate returns alone, so you need to consider other fundamentals in the business such as future prospects and valuation to determine whether there is potential for return by focusing our attention elsewhere. If you’re interested in diving deeper, take a look at what I’ve linked below for further information on these fundamentals and other potential investment opportunities.

1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for NMC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for NMC’s outlook.
2. Valuation: What is NMC worth today? Despite the unattractive ROCE, is the outlook correctly factored in to the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether NMC is currently undervalued by the market.
3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.