Should You Like Xinyi Glass Holdings Limited’s (HKG:868) High Return On Capital Employed?

Today we’ll look at Xinyi Glass Holdings Limited (HKG:868) and reflect on its potential as an investment. Specifically, we’re going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. Last but not least, we’ll look at what impact its current liabilities have on its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the ‘return’ (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. 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’.

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 Xinyi Glass Holdings:

0.17 = HK$4.5b ÷ (HK$33b – HK$6.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Xinyi Glass Holdings has an ROCE of 17%.

Check out our latest analysis for Xinyi Glass Holdings

Does Xinyi Glass Holdings Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Using our data, we find that Xinyi Glass Holdings’s ROCE is meaningfully better than the 13% average in the Auto Components industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Separate from Xinyi Glass Holdings’s performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

In our analysis, Xinyi Glass Holdings’s ROCE appears to be 17%, compared to 3 years ago, when its ROCE was 11%. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly.

SEHK:868 Past Revenue and Net Income, April 12th 2019
SEHK:868 Past Revenue and Net Income, April 12th 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. Companies in cyclical industries can be difficult to understand using ROCE, as returns typically look high during boom times, and low during busts. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. 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 Xinyi Glass Holdings’s ROCE?

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

Xinyi Glass Holdings has total liabilities of HK$6.6b and total assets of HK$33b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 20% of its total assets. Low current liabilities are not boosting the ROCE too much.

The Bottom Line On Xinyi Glass Holdings’s ROCE

Overall, Xinyi Glass Holdings has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. Xinyi Glass Holdings looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.