What Should You Know About Ansaldo STS SpA’s (BIT:STS) Capital Returns?

I am writing today to help inform people who are new to the stock market and want to begin learning the link between Ansaldo STS SpA (BIT:STS)’s return fundamentals and stock market performance.

Ansaldo STS stock represents an ownership share in the company. This share represents a portion of capital used by the company to operate the business, and it is important the company is able to use the capital base efficiently to create adequate cash flows for you as an investor. 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 Ansaldo STS’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 Ansaldo STS

Calculating Return On Capital Employed for STS

Choosing to invest in Ansaldo STS comes at the cost of investing in another potentially favourable company. Therefore all else aside, your investment in a certain company represents a vote of confidence that the money used to buy the stock will grow larger than if invested elsewhere. So the business’ ability to grow the size of your capital is very important and can be assessed by comparing the return on capital you can get on your investment with a hurdle rate that depends on the other return possibilities you can identify. To determine Ansaldo STS’s capital return we will use ROCE, which tells us how much the company makes from the capital employed in their operations (for things like machinery, wages etc). I have calculated Ansaldo STS’s ROCE for you below:

ROCE Calculation for STS

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

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = €97m ÷ (€2.0b – €1.2b) = 12%

The calculation above shows that STS’s earnings were 12% of capital employed. This makes Ansaldo STS slightly mediocre 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 still may be missing out on some potential growth elsewhere.

BIT:STS Last Perf October 10th 18
BIT:STS Last Perf October 10th 18

What is causing this?

The underperforming ROCE is not ideal for Ansaldo STS investors if the company is unable to turn things around. But if the underlying variables (earnings and capital employed) improve, STS’s ROCE may increase, in which case your portfolio could benefit from holding the company. Because of this, it is important to look beyond the final value of STS’s ROCE and understand what is happening to the individual components. Three years ago, STS’s ROCE was 21%, which means the company’s capital returns have worsened. Over the same period, EBT went from €136m to €97m and 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 STS 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. However, it is important to know that ROCE does not dictate returns alone, so you need to consider other fundamentals in the business such as future prospects and valuation. If you’re building your portfolio and want to take a deeper look, I’ve added a few links below that will help you further evaluate STS or move on to other alternatives.

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for STS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for STS’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is STS 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 STS 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.