Why We’re Not Impressed By Public Joint Stock Company KuibyshevAzot’s (MCX:KAZT) 12% ROCE

Today we’ll look at Public Joint Stock Company KuibyshevAzot (MCX:KAZT) and reflect on its potential as an investment. To be precise, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting 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. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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’.

How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?

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 KuibyshevAzot:

0.12 = RUруб5.1b ÷ (RUруб60b – RUруб15b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2018.)

So, KuibyshevAzot has an ROCE of 12%.

View our latest analysis for KuibyshevAzot

Does KuibyshevAzot Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. In this analysis, KuibyshevAzot’s ROCE appears meaningfully below the 17% average reported by the Chemicals industry. This performance is not ideal, as it suggests the company may not be deploying its capital as effectively as some competitors. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, KuibyshevAzot’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.

KuibyshevAzot’s current ROCE of 12% is lower than its ROCE in the past, which was 18%, 3 years ago. So investors might consider if it has had issues recently.

MISX:KAZT Past Revenue and Net Income, March 19th 2019
MISX:KAZT Past Revenue and Net Income, March 19th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and 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, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. You can check if KuibyshevAzot has cyclical profits by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

How KuibyshevAzot’s Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they need to be paid within 12 months. Due to the way the ROCE equation works, having large bills due in the near term can make it look as though a company has less capital employed, and thus a higher ROCE than usual. To counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

KuibyshevAzot has total assets of RUруб60b and current liabilities of RUруб15b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 26% 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 KuibyshevAzot’s ROCE

If KuibyshevAzot continues to earn an uninspiring ROCE, there may be better places to invest. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

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.