Today we’ll evaluate CCC S.A. (WSE:CCC) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.
First, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. 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’.
How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?
The formula for calculating the return on capital employed is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)
Or for CCC:
0.081 = zł436m ÷ (zł6.8b – zł2.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)
So, CCC has an ROCE of 8.1%.
Does CCC Have A Good ROCE?
ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. We can see CCC’s ROCE is around the 9.6% average reported by the Luxury industry. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, CCC’s ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.
As we can see, CCC currently has an ROCE of 8.1%, less than the 18% it reported 3 years ago. Therefore we wonder if the company is facing new headwinds.
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. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for CCC.
How CCC’s Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE
Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.
CCC has total liabilities of zł2.7b and total assets of zł6.8b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 39% of its total assets. CCC’s ROCE is improved somewhat by its moderate amount of current liabilities.
What We Can Learn From CCC’s ROCE
Unfortunately, its ROCE is still uninspiring, and there are potentially more attractive prospects out there. You might be able to find a better buy than CCC. 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).
Of course CCC may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have high ROE and low debt.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.