Returns On Capital Signal Tricky Times Ahead For Z Energy (NZSE:ZEL)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 18, 2021
NZSE:ZEL
Source: Shutterstock

If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. In light of that, when we looked at Z Energy (NZSE:ZEL) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.

What is 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. To calculate this metric for Z Energy, this is the formula:

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

0.046 = NZ$97m ÷ (NZ$3.0b - NZ$859m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

Therefore, Z Energy has an ROCE of 4.6%. In absolute terms, that's a low return, but it's much better than the Oil and Gas industry average of 3.4%.

See our latest analysis for Z Energy

roce
NZSE:ZEL Return on Capital Employed August 18th 2021

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Z Energy compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Z Energy here for free.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Z Energy Tell Us?

Unfortunately, the trend isn't great with ROCE falling from 14% five years ago, while capital employed has grown 118%. Usually this isn't ideal, but given Z Energy conducted a capital raising before their most recent earnings announcement, that would've likely contributed, at least partially, to the increased capital employed figure. It's unlikely that all of the funds raised have been put to work yet, so as a consequence Z Energy might not have received a full period of earnings contribution from it.

In Conclusion...

From the above analysis, we find it rather worrisome that returns on capital and sales for Z Energy have fallen, meanwhile the business is employing more capital than it was five years ago. Long term shareholders who've owned the stock over the last five years have experienced a 56% depreciation in their investment, so it appears the market might not like these trends either. With underlying trends that aren't great in these areas, we'd consider looking elsewhere.

Z Energy does come with some risks though, we found 3 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 2 of those make us uncomfortable...

While Z Energy may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.

When trading stocks or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted


Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.