Some Investors May Be Worried About Malayan Cement Berhad's (KLSE:MCEMENT) Returns On Capital

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 23, 2021
KLSE:MCEMENT
Source: Shutterstock

What financial metrics can indicate to us that a company is maturing or even in decline? More often than not, we'll see a declining return on capital employed (ROCE) and a declining amount of capital employed. This indicates to us that the business is not only shrinking the size of its net assets, but its returns are falling as well. So after we looked into Malayan Cement Berhad (KLSE:MCEMENT), the trends above didn't look too great.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

Just to clarify if you're unsure, ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Malayan Cement Berhad:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

0.0065 = RM21m ÷ (RM3.9b - RM667m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Thus, Malayan Cement Berhad has an ROCE of 0.6%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Basic Materials industry average of 7.2%.

See our latest analysis for Malayan Cement Berhad

roce
KLSE:MCEMENT Return on Capital Employed November 24th 2021

In the above chart we have measured Malayan Cement Berhad's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

How Are Returns Trending?

In terms of Malayan Cement Berhad's historical ROCE movements, the trend doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, the ROCE was 7.2% five years ago, but since then it has dropped noticeably. On top of that, it's worth noting that the amount of capital employed within the business has remained relatively steady. Since returns are falling and the business has the same amount of assets employed, this can suggest it's a mature business that hasn't had much growth in the last five years. So because these trends aren't typically conducive to creating a multi-bagger, we wouldn't hold our breath on Malayan Cement Berhad becoming one if things continue as they have.

What We Can Learn From Malayan Cement Berhad's ROCE

In summary, it's unfortunate that Malayan Cement Berhad is generating lower returns from the same amount of capital. Long term shareholders who've owned the stock over the last five years have experienced a 61% depreciation in their investment, so it appears the market might not like these trends either. Unless there is a shift to a more positive trajectory in these metrics, we would look elsewhere.

One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Malayan Cement Berhad and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

While Malayan Cement Berhad isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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Simply Wall St is focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of data scientists and multiple equity analysts with over two decades worth of financial markets experience between them.