K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group Limited (HKG:8411) Is Employing Capital Very Effectively

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Today we’ll evaluate K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group Limited (HKG:8411) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

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

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. 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?

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 K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group:

0.29 = HK$32m ÷ (HK$143m – HK$32m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

So, K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group has an ROCE of 29%.

See our latest analysis for K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group

Does K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, we find that K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group’s ROCE is meaningfully better than the 11% average in the Consumer Services industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Putting aside its position relative to its industry for now, in absolute terms, K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group’s ROCE is currently very good.

SEHK:8411 Past Revenue and Net Income, July 19th 2019
SEHK:8411 Past Revenue and Net Income, July 19th 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. You can check if K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group has cyclical profits by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group’s ROCE?

Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group has total assets of HK$143m and current liabilities of HK$32m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 23% of its total assets. The fairly low level of current liabilities won’t have much impact on the already great ROCE.

The Bottom Line On K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group’s ROCE

This is good to see, and with such a high ROCE, K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group may be worth a closer look. K W Nelson Interior Design and Contracting Group shapes up well under this analysis, but it is far from the only business delivering excellent numbers . You might also want to check this free collection of companies delivering excellent earnings growth.

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.