What Should Investors Know About Transport Corporation of India Limited’s (NSE:TCI) Return On Capital?

The content of this article will benefit those of you who are starting to educate yourself about investing in the stock market and looking to gauge the potential return on investment in Transport Corporation of India Limited (NSE:TCI).

If you purchase a TCI share you are effectively becoming a partner with many other shareholders. 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. To understand Transport of India’s capital returns we will look at a useful metric called return on capital employed. This will tell us if the company is growing your capital and placing you in good stead to sell your shares at a profit.

View our latest analysis for Transport of India

What is Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)?

As an investor you have many alternative companies to choose from, which means there is an opportunity cost in any investment you make in the form of a foregone investment in another company. The cost of missing out on another opportunity comes in the form of the potential long term gain you could’ve received, which is dependent on the gap between the return on capital you could’ve achieved and that of the company you invested in. Hence, capital returns are very important, and should be examined before you invest in conjunction with a certain benchmark that represents the minimum return you require to be compensated for the risk of missing out on other potentially lucrative investments. A good metric to use is return on capital employed (ROCE), which helps us gauge how much income can be created from the funds needed to operate the business. This metric will tell us if Transport of India is good at growing investor capital. TCI’s ROCE is calculated below:

ROCE Calculation for TCI

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

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = ₹1.5b ÷ (₹14b – ₹4.3b) = 17%

The calculation above shows that TCI’s earnings were 17% of capital employed. A good ROCE hurdle you should aim for in your investments is 15%, which is exceeded by TCI and means the company creates a solid amount of earnings on capital employed. If this can be sustained with good reinvestment opportunities or dividend distributions your capital has the potential to compound over time.

NSEI:TCI Last Perf November 27th 18
NSEI:TCI Last Perf November 27th 18

Before moving forward

The encouraging ROCE is good news for Transport of India investors if the company is able to maintain strong earnings and control their capital needs. But if this doesn’t occur, TCI’s ROCE may deteriorate, in which case your money is better invested elsewhere. Because of this, it is important to look beyond the final value of TCI’s ROCE and understand what is happening to the individual components. Looking at the past 3 year period shows us that TCI weakened investor return on capital employed from 19%. We can see that earnings have actually increased from ₹1.1b to ₹1.5b but capital employed has increased by a proportionally greater amount as a result of an increase in total assets , which suggests investor’s ROCE has fallen because the company requires more capital to create earnings despite the previous growth in EBT.

Next Steps

Despite TCI’s downward trend in ROCE in the recent past, the company still remains an attractive candidate that is capable of producing solid capital returns and a potentially strong 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. It’s important to account for these factors because you cannot be sure if the downward path is a signal to run, or just a blip in an otherwise solid return profile. 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 TCI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for TCI’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is TCI worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even if its ROCE is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether TCI is currently mispriced 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.