Hop Fung Group Holdings (HKG:2320) Could Be Struggling To Allocate Capital

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 22, 2022
SEHK:2320
Source: Shutterstock

When researching a stock for investment, what can tell us that the company is in decline? More often than not, we'll see a declining return on capital employed (ROCE) and a declining amount of capital employed. Basically the company is earning less on its investments and it is also reducing its total assets. And from a first read, things don't look too good at Hop Fung Group Holdings (HKG:2320), so let's see why.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. To calculate this metric for Hop Fung Group Holdings, this is the formula:

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

0.0079 = HK$15m ÷ (HK$2.2b - HK$346m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Therefore, Hop Fung Group Holdings has an ROCE of 0.8%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Packaging industry average of 12%.

Check out our latest analysis for Hop Fung Group Holdings

roce
SEHK:2320 Return on Capital Employed March 22nd 2022

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 Hop Fung Group Holdings 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

There is reason to be cautious about Hop Fung Group Holdings, given the returns are trending downwards. About five years ago, returns on capital were 4.0%, however they're now substantially lower than that as we saw above. Meanwhile, capital employed in the business has stayed roughly the flat over the period. Companies that exhibit these attributes tend to not be shrinking, but they can be mature and facing pressure on their margins from competition. If these trends continue, we wouldn't expect Hop Fung Group Holdings to turn into a multi-bagger.

Our Take On Hop Fung Group Holdings' ROCE

All in all, the lower returns from the same amount of capital employed aren't exactly signs of a compounding machine. Unsurprisingly then, the stock has dived 75% over the last five years, so investors are recognizing these changes and don't like the company's prospects. With underlying trends that aren't great in these areas, we'd consider looking elsewhere.

Hop Fung Group Holdings does have some risks, we noticed 2 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive returns on equity.

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