CWT International (HKG:521) Is Looking To Continue Growing Its Returns On Capital

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 25, 2021
SEHK:521
Source: Shutterstock

What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. With that in mind, we've noticed some promising trends at CWT International (HKG:521) so let's look a bit deeper.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. The formula for this calculation on CWT International is:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

0.056 = HK$485m ÷ (HK$26b - HK$17b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Therefore, CWT International has an ROCE of 5.6%. In absolute terms, that's a low return but it's around the Trade Distributors industry average of 4.8%.

View our latest analysis for CWT International

roce
SEHK:521 Return on Capital Employed November 26th 2021

While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you'd like to look at how CWT International has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

The Trend Of ROCE

The fact that CWT International is now generating some pre-tax profits from its prior investments is very encouraging. The company was generating losses five years ago, but now it's earning 5.6% which is a sight for sore eyes. In addition to that, CWT International is employing 82% more capital than previously which is expected of a company that's trying to break into profitability. We like this trend, because it tells us the company has profitable reinvestment opportunities available to it, and if it continues going forward that can lead to a multi-bagger performance.

On a side note, we noticed that the improvement in ROCE appears to be partly fueled by an increase in current liabilities. Effectively this means that suppliers or short-term creditors are now funding 66% of the business, which is more than it was five years ago. Given it's pretty high ratio, we'd remind investors that having current liabilities at those levels can bring about some risks in certain businesses.

What We Can Learn From CWT International's ROCE

In summary, it's great to see that CWT International has managed to break into profitability and is continuing to reinvest in its business. And since the stock has fallen 68% over the last five years, there might be an opportunity here. With that in mind, we believe the promising trends warrant this stock for further investigation.

If you'd like to know more about CWT International, we've spotted 3 warning signs, and 2 of them don't sit too well with us.

While CWT International may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.