Is Interpump Group S.p.A.’s (BIT:IP) 18% ROCE Any Good?

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

Today we’ll evaluate Interpump Group S.p.A. (BIT:IP) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. In particular, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that can give us insight into how profitably the company is able to employ capital in its business.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. 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 Interpump Group:

0.18 = €241m ÷ (€1.8b – €489m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Therefore, Interpump Group has an ROCE of 18%.

Check out our latest analysis for Interpump Group

Does Interpump Group Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. In our analysis, Interpump Group’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 12% average in the Machinery industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Separate from Interpump Group’s performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

Our data shows that Interpump Group currently has an ROCE of 18%, compared to its ROCE of 14% 3 years ago. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly.

BIT:IP Past Revenue and Net Income, June 3rd 2019
BIT:IP Past Revenue and Net Income, June 3rd 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and not necessarily predictive. Companies in cyclical industries can be difficult to understand using ROCE, as returns typically look high during boom times, and low during busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Interpump Group’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Interpump Group has total assets of €1.8b and current liabilities of €489m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 27% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

What We Can Learn From Interpump Group’s ROCE

Overall, Interpump Group has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. There might be better investments than Interpump Group out there, but you will have to work hard to find them . These promising businesses with rapidly growing earnings might be right up your alley.

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.