China Display Optoelectronics Technology Holdings Limited (HKG:334): What Are Investors Earning On Their Capital?

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want a simplistic look at the return on China Display Optoelectronics Technology Holdings Limited (HKG:334) stock.

China Display Optoelectronics Technology Holdings stock represents an ownership share in the company. As a result, your investment is being put to work to fund operations and if you want to earn an attractive return on your investment, the business needs to be making an adequate amount of money from the funds you provide. You need to pay attention to this because your return on investment is linked to dividends and internal investments to improve the business, which can only occur if the company is expected to produce adequate earnings with the capital that has been provided. Therefore, looking at how efficiently China Display Optoelectronics Technology Holdings is able to use capital to create earnings will help us understand your potential return. Investors use many different metrics but the analysis below focuses on return on capital employed (ROCE). Let’s take a look at what it can tell us.

Check out our latest analysis for China Display Optoelectronics Technology Holdings

What is Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)?

You only have a finite amount of capital to invest, so there are only so many companies that you can add to your portfolio. Accordingly, before you invest you need to assess the capital returns that the company has produced with reference to a certain benchmark to ensure that you are confident in the business’ ability to grow your capital at a level that grants an investment over other companies. We’ll look at China Display Optoelectronics Technology Holdings’s returns by computing return on capital employed, which will tell us what the company can generate from the money spent in operations. 334’s ROCE is calculated below:

ROCE Calculation for 334

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) = Earnings Before Tax (EBT) ÷ (Capital Employed)

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = CN¥45m ÷ (CN¥2.0b – CN¥1.3b) = 6.6%

The calculation above shows that 334’s earnings were 6.6% of capital employed. This makes China Display Optoelectronics Technology Holdings unattractive when compared to a robust 15% ROCE yardstick. So if this rate continues in to the future, investor capital will be able to compound over time, but not to the extent investors should be aiming for.

SEHK:334 Last Perf October 15th 18
SEHK:334 Last Perf October 15th 18

Then why have investors invested?

The underperforming ROCE is not ideal for China Display Optoelectronics Technology Holdings investors if the company is unable to turn things around. But if the underlying variables (earnings and capital employed) improve, 334’s ROCE may increase, in which case your portfolio could benefit from holding the company. So it is important for investors to understand what is going on under the hood and look at how these variables have been behaving. Looking at the past 3 year period shows us that 334 weakened investor return on capital employed from 72%. The movement in the earnings variable over this time shows a fall from CN¥115m to CN¥45m whilst capital employed has increased due to a hike in the level of total assets employed , which means the company’s ROCE has shrunk as a result of falling earnings and simultaneous increases in capital requirements.

Next Steps

ROCE for 334 investors has fallen in the last few years and is currently at a level that makes us question whether the company is capable of providing a suitable return on investment. Before making any decisions, ROCE does not tell the whole picture so you need to pay attention to other fundamentals like future prospects and valuation. If you’re interested in diving deeper, take a look at what I’ve linked below for further information on these fundamentals and other potential investment opportunities.

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for 334’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for 334’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is 334 worth today? Despite the unattractive ROCE, is the outlook correctly factored in to the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether 334 is currently undervalued by the market.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com.