Is Ju Teng International Holdings Limited (HKG:3336) Investing Your Capital Efficiently?

Today we’ll look at Ju Teng International Holdings Limited (HKG:3336) and reflect on its potential as an investment. Specifically, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.

First of all, we’ll work out how to 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.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. Renowned investment researcher Michael Mauboussin has suggested that a high ROCE can indicate that ‘one dollar invested in the company generates value of more than one dollar’.

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 Ju Teng International Holdings:

0.049 = HK$413m ÷ (HK$14b – HK$5.4b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Ju Teng International Holdings has an ROCE of 4.9%.

View our latest analysis for Ju Teng International Holdings

Is Ju Teng International Holdings’s ROCE Good?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. In this analysis, Ju Teng International Holdings’s ROCE appears meaningfully below the 10% average reported by the Electronic industry. This performance is not ideal, as it suggests the company may not be deploying its capital as effectively as some competitors. Regardless of how Ju Teng International Holdings stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is quite low (especially compared to a bank account). Readers may wish to look for more rewarding investments.

Ju Teng International Holdings’s current ROCE of 4.9% is lower than 3 years ago, when the company reported a 9.3% ROCE. So investors might consider if it has had issues recently. You can see in the image below how Ju Teng International Holdings’s ROCE compares to its industry.

SEHK:3336 Past Revenue and Net Income, September 21st 2019
SEHK:3336 Past Revenue and Net Income, September 21st 2019

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. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Ju Teng International Holdings.

Do Ju Teng International Holdings’s Current Liabilities Skew Its ROCE?

Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills that 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.

Ju Teng International Holdings has total liabilities of HK$5.4b and total assets of HK$14b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 39% of its total assets. In light of sufficient current liabilities to noticeably boost the ROCE, Ju Teng International Holdings’s ROCE is concerning.

Our Take On Ju Teng International Holdings’s ROCE

So researching other companies may be a better use of your time. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.