Is Raj Television Network Limited (NSE:RAJTV) Investing Your Capital Efficiently?

Today we’ll evaluate Raj Television Network Limited (NSE:RAJTV) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. To be precise, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

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 measures the ‘return’ (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since ‘No two businesses are exactly alike.’

So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?

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 Raj Television Network:

0.093 = ₹150m ÷ (₹1.9b – ₹288m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Raj Television Network has an ROCE of 9.3%.

See our latest analysis for Raj Television Network

Does Raj Television Network Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. We can see Raj Television Network’s ROCE is meaningfully below the Media industry average of 16%. This performance could be negative if sustained, as it suggests the business may underperform its industry. Putting aside Raj Television Network’s performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is poor – considering the risk of owning stocks compared to government bonds. There are potentially more appealing investments elsewhere.

Raj Television Network reported an ROCE of 9.3% — better than 3 years ago, when the company didn’t make a profit. This makes us wonder if the company is improving.

NSEI:RAJTV Past Revenue and Net Income, September 17th 2019
NSEI:RAJTV Past Revenue and Net Income, September 17th 2019

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 misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. How cyclical is Raj Television Network? You can see for yourself by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Do Raj Television Network’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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Raj Television Network has total liabilities of ₹288m and total assets of ₹1.9b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 15% of its total assets. This is not a high level of current liabilities, which would not boost the ROCE by much.

What We Can Learn From Raj Television Network’s ROCE

Raj Television Network has a poor ROCE, and there may be better investment prospects out there. But note: make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.