Investors Could Be Concerned With SinoMedia Holding's (HKG:623) Returns On Capital
If we're looking to avoid a business that is in decline, what are the trends that can warn us ahead of time? A business that's potentially in decline often shows two trends, a return on capital employed (ROCE) that's declining, and a base of capital employed that's also declining. This combination can tell you that not only is the company investing less, it's earning less on what it does invest. And from a first read, things don't look too good at SinoMedia Holding (HKG:623), so let's see why.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?
If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. To calculate this metric for SinoMedia Holding, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.042 = CN¥68m ÷ (CN¥1.8b - CN¥201m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).
Therefore, SinoMedia Holding has an ROCE of 4.2%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Media industry average of 6.5%.
See our latest analysis for SinoMedia Holding
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 want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of SinoMedia Holding, check out these free graphs here.
What Can We Tell From SinoMedia Holding's ROCE Trend?
In terms of SinoMedia Holding's historical ROCE movements, the trend doesn't inspire confidence. About five years ago, returns on capital were 8.8%, however they're now substantially lower than that as we saw above. On top of that, it's worth noting that the amount of capital employed within the business has remained relatively steady. Companies that exhibit these attributes tend to not be shrinking, but they can be mature and facing pressure on their margins from competition. So because these trends aren't typically conducive to creating a multi-bagger, we wouldn't hold our breath on SinoMedia Holding becoming one if things continue as they have.
On a related note, SinoMedia Holding has decreased its current liabilities to 11% of total assets. So we could link some of this to the decrease in ROCE. What's more, this can reduce some aspects of risk to the business because now the company's suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of its operations. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money.
What We Can Learn From SinoMedia Holding's ROCE
All in all, the lower returns from the same amount of capital employed aren't exactly signs of a compounding machine. Investors haven't taken kindly to these developments, since the stock has declined 47% from where it was five years ago. With underlying trends that aren't great in these areas, we'd consider looking elsewhere.
On a final note, we found 4 warning signs for SinoMedia Holding (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable) you should be aware of.
For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
SinoMedia Holding Limited, an investment holding company, provides TV advertisement, creative content production, and digital marketing services for advertisers and advertising agents in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the People's Republic of China.
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