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Today we are going to look at Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd. (HKG:1169) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we’re going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.
Firstly, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since ‘No two businesses are exactly alike.’
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 Haier Electronics Group:
0.15 = CN¥3.6b ÷ (CN¥44b – CN¥18b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2018.)
Therefore, Haier Electronics Group has an ROCE of 15%.
Does Haier Electronics Group Have A Good ROCE?
ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. In our analysis, Haier Electronics Group’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 9.8% average in the Consumer Durables industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Separate from Haier Electronics Group’s performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.
It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
How Haier Electronics 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. Due to the way ROCE is calculated, a high level of current liabilities makes a company look as though it has less capital employed, and thus can (sometimes unfairly) boost the ROCE. To counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.
Haier Electronics Group has total liabilities of CN¥18b and total assets of CN¥44b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 41% of its total assets. Haier Electronics Group has a middling amount of current liabilities, increasing its ROCE somewhat.
The Bottom Line On Haier Electronics Group’s ROCE
Haier Electronics Group’s ROCE does look good, but the level of current liabilities also contribute to that. You might be able to find a better buy than Haier Electronics Group. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).
I will like Haier Electronics Group better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.
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 email@example.com.