Is Betsson AB’s (STO:BETS B) 24% ROCE Any Good?

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Today we’ll look at Betsson AB (STO:BETS B) 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.

Firstly, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

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

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. 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 Betsson:

0.24 = kr1.2b ÷ (kr7.8b – kr2.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Therefore, Betsson has an ROCE of 24%.

View our latest analysis for Betsson

Does Betsson Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. Using our data, we find that Betsson’s ROCE is meaningfully better than the 20% average in the Hospitality industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Regardless of the industry comparison, in absolute terms, Betsson’s ROCE currently appears to be excellent.

OM:BETS B Past Revenue and Net Income, May 13th 2019
OM:BETS B Past Revenue and Net Income, May 13th 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

How Betsson’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. 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.

Betsson has total liabilities of kr2.7b and total assets of kr7.8b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 35% of its total assets. A medium level of current liabilities boosts Betsson’s ROCE somewhat.

What We Can Learn From Betsson’s ROCE

Still, it has a high ROCE, and may be an interesting prospect for further research. Betsson 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.

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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.