Today we'll look at D'nonce Technology Bhd. (KLSE:DNONCE) and reflect on its potential as an investment. 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, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.
What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. 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?
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 D'nonce Technology Bhd:
0.041 = RM4.5m ÷ (RM190m - RM80m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)
Therefore, D'nonce Technology Bhd has an ROCE of 4.1%.
Does D'nonce Technology Bhd Have A Good ROCE?
When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. We can see D'nonce Technology Bhd's ROCE is meaningfully below the Packaging industry average of 9.4%. This performance could be negative if sustained, as it suggests the business may underperform its industry. Regardless of how D'nonce Technology Bhd stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is quite low (especially compared to a bank account). It is likely that there are more attractive prospects out there.
D'nonce Technology Bhd reported an ROCE of 4.1% -- better than 3 years ago, when the company didn't make a profit. That implies the business has been improving. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how D'nonce Technology Bhd's past growth compares to other companies.
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, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. How cyclical is D'nonce Technology Bhd? You can see for yourself by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
How D'nonce Technology Bhd's Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE
Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.
D'nonce Technology Bhd has total assets of RM190m and current liabilities of RM80m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 42% of its total assets. D'nonce Technology Bhd has a medium level of current liabilities (boosting the ROCE somewhat), and a low ROCE.
Our Take On D'nonce Technology Bhd's ROCE
So researching other companies may be a better use of your time. You might be able to find a better investment than D'nonce Technology Bhd. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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. Thank you for reading.
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