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# Is Nobia AB (publ) (STO:NOBI) Investing Effectively In Its Business?

Today we are going to look at Nobia AB (publ) (STO:NOBI) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we’re going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First, we’ll go over how we 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. 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’.

### 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 Nobia:

0.12 = kr1.0b ÷ (kr11b – kr3.0b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

So, Nobia has an ROCE of 12%.

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### Is Nobia’s ROCE Good?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. We can see Nobia’s ROCE is around the 13% average reported by the Consumer Durables industry. Independently of how Nobia compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.

As we can see, Nobia currently has an ROCE of 12%, less than the 21% it reported 3 years ago. This makes us wonder if the business is facing new challenges.

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. 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 Nobia.

### Nobia’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On 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. 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.

Nobia has total assets of kr11b and current liabilities of kr3.0b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 27% of its total assets. Current liabilities are minimal, limiting the impact on ROCE.

### Our Take On Nobia’s ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, Nobia could be worth a closer look. Nobia 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.

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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.