Stock Analysis

Be Wary Of Khoon Group (HKG:924) And Its Returns On Capital

SEHK:924
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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's amount 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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Khoon Group (HKG:924) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Khoon Group:

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

0.01 = S$403k ÷ (S$68m - S$29m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

So, Khoon Group has an ROCE of 1.0%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Construction industry average of 9.4%.

Check out our latest analysis for Khoon Group

roce
SEHK:924 Return on Capital Employed June 7th 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're interested in investigating Khoon Group's past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

The Trend Of ROCE

In terms of Khoon Group's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 37% over the last four years. And considering revenue has dropped while employing more capital, we'd be cautious. This could mean that the business is losing its competitive advantage or market share, because while more money is being put into ventures, it's actually producing a lower return - "less bang for their buck" per se.

On a side note, Khoon Group has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 43% of total assets. So we could link some of this to the decrease in ROCE. Effectively this means their suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of the business, which reduces some elements of risk. Since the business is basically funding more of its operations with it's own money, you could argue this has made the business less efficient at generating ROCE. Either way, they're still at a pretty high level, so we'd like to see them fall further if possible.

Our Take On Khoon Group's ROCE

In summary, we're somewhat concerned by Khoon Group's diminishing returns on increasing amounts of capital. But investors must be expecting an improvement of sorts because over the last yearthe stock has delivered a respectable 8.4% return. In any case, the current underlying trends don't bode well for long term performance so unless they reverse, we'd start looking elsewhere.

On a final note, we found 4 warning signs for Khoon Group (1 is a bit unpleasant) you should be aware of.

While Khoon Group 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.

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