Should You Worry About AmRest Holdings SE’s (WSE:EAT) ROCE?

Today we’ll look at AmRest Holdings SE (WSE:EAT) and reflect on its potential as an investment. In particular, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that can give us insight into how profitably the company is able to employ capital in its business.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. 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 AmRest Holdings:

0.069 = €81m ÷ (€1.4b – €265m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, AmRest Holdings has an ROCE of 6.9%.

View our latest analysis for AmRest Holdings

Does AmRest Holdings Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, AmRest Holdings’s ROCE appears to be significantly below the 9.1% average in the Hospitality industry. This performance could be negative if sustained, as it suggests the business may underperform its industry. Aside from the industry comparison, AmRest Holdings’s ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.

AmRest Holdings’s current ROCE of 6.9% is lower than its ROCE in the past, which was 9.2%, 3 years ago. So investors might consider if it has had issues recently.

WSE:EAT Past Revenue and Net Income, March 12th 2019
WSE:EAT Past Revenue and Net Income, March 12th 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for AmRest Holdings.

AmRest Holdings’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE

Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. Due to the way ROCE is calculated, a high level of current liabilities makes a company look as though it has less capital employed, and thus can (sometimes unfairly) boost the ROCE. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

AmRest Holdings has total assets of €1.4b and current liabilities of €265m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 18% of its total assets. It is good to see a restrained amount of current liabilities, as this limits the effect on ROCE.

What We Can Learn From AmRest Holdings’s ROCE

That said, AmRest Holdings’s ROCE is mediocre, there may be more attractive investments around. Of course you might be able to find a better stock than AmRest Holdings. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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. Thank you for reading.