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How Good Is Meilleure Health International Industry Group Limited (HKG:2327) At Creating Shareholder Value?

Today we’ll evaluate Meilleure Health International Industry Group Limited (HKG:2327) 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, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

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. 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’.

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 Meilleure Health International Industry Group:

0.055 = HK\$57m ÷ (HK\$1.3b – HK\$268m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

Therefore, Meilleure Health International Industry Group has an ROCE of 5.5%.

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Is Meilleure Health International Industry Group’s ROCE Good?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. It appears that Meilleure Health International Industry Group’s ROCE is fairly close to the Trade Distributors industry average of 6.6%. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Meilleure Health International Industry Group’s ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. It is possible that there are more rewarding investments out there.

As we can see, Meilleure Health International Industry Group currently has an ROCE of 5.5% compared to its ROCE 3 years ago, which was 2.3%. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly.

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. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Meilleure Health International Industry Group.

How Meilleure Health International Industry Group’s Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they need to be paid within 12 months. The ROCE equation subtracts current liabilities from capital employed, so a company with a lot of current liabilities appears to have less capital employed, and a higher ROCE than otherwise. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Meilleure Health International Industry Group has total assets of HK\$1.3b and current liabilities of HK\$268m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 21% of its total assets. It is good to see a restrained amount of current liabilities, as this limits the effect on ROCE.

What We Can Learn From Meilleure Health International Industry Group’s ROCE

If Meilleure Health International Industry Group continues to earn an uninspiring ROCE, there may be better places to invest. But note: make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio 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. Thank you for reading.