Why We Like Telestrada SA’s (WSE:TLS) 44% Return On Capital Employed

Today we’ll evaluate Telestrada SA (WSE:TLS) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we’re going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting 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. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. 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 Telestrada:

0.44 = zł11m ÷ (zł29m – zł4.4m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

Therefore, Telestrada has an ROCE of 44%.

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Does Telestrada Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. In our analysis, Telestrada’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 3.4% average in the Telecom industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Putting aside its position relative to its industry for now, in absolute terms, Telestrada’s ROCE is currently very good.

In our analysis, Telestrada’s ROCE appears to be 44%, compared to 3 years ago, when its ROCE was 32%. This makes us think the business might be improving.

WSE:TLS Past Revenue and Net Income, May 23rd 2019
WSE:TLS Past Revenue and Net Income, May 23rd 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. If Telestrada is cyclical, it could make sense to check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

How Telestrada’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.

Telestrada has total liabilities of zł4.4m and total assets of zł29m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 15% of its total assets. This is quite a low level of current liabilities which would not greatly boost the already high ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Telestrada’s ROCE

Low current liabilities and high ROCE is a good combination, making Telestrada look quite interesting. Telestrada looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.

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.