Is Lindab International AB (STO:LIAB) Better Than Average At Deploying Capital?

Today we are going to look at Lindab International AB (STO:LIAB) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. 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.

Firstly, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared 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 ‘return’ (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since ‘No two businesses are exactly alike.’

So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?

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 Lindab International:

0.11 = kr649m ÷ (kr7.8b – kr1.9b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Lindab International has an ROCE of 11%.

View our latest analysis for Lindab International

Is Lindab International’s ROCE Good?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. It appears that Lindab International’s ROCE is fairly close to the Building industry average of 11%. Independently of how Lindab International compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.

Our data shows that Lindab International currently has an ROCE of 11%, compared to its ROCE of 8.5% 3 years ago. This makes us think the business might be improving.

OM:LIAB Past Revenue and Net Income, April 28th 2019
OM:LIAB Past Revenue and Net Income, April 28th 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. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Lindab International’s ROCE?

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they 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.

Lindab International has total liabilities of kr1.9b and total assets of kr7.8b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 24% of its total assets. Current liabilities are minimal, limiting the impact on ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Lindab International’s ROCE

With that in mind, Lindab International’s ROCE appears pretty good. Lindab International shapes up well under this analysis, but it is far from the only business delivering excellent numbers . You might also want to check this free collection of companies delivering excellent earnings growth.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.