Here’s What JBM Auto Limited’s (NSE:JBMA) ROCE Can Tell Us

Today we’ll evaluate JBM Auto Limited (NSE:JBMA) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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 up, we’ll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

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

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’.

So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?

The formula for calculating the return on capital employed is:

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

Or for JBM Auto:

0.21 = ₹1.5b ÷ (₹15b – ₹7.3b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

So, JBM Auto has an ROCE of 21%.

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Is JBM Auto’s ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. In our analysis, JBM Auto’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 17% average in the Auto Components industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Separate from JBM Auto’s performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

NSEI:JBMA Last Perf January 15th 19
NSEI:JBMA Last Perf January 15th 19

Remember that this metric is backwards looking – it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately 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, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for JBM Auto.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect JBM Auto’s ROCE?

Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

JBM Auto has total liabilities of ₹7.3b and total assets of ₹15b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 48% of its total assets. JBM Auto has a middling amount of current liabilities, increasing its ROCE somewhat.

Our Take On JBM Auto’s ROCE

With a decent ROCE, the company could be interesting, but remember that the level of current liabilities make the ROCE look better. But note: JBM Auto may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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

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.