Is There More To Stoneridge, Inc. (NYSE:SRI) Than Its 16% Returns On Capital?

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

Today we are going to look at Stoneridge, Inc. (NYSE:SRI) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.

First, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. Last but not least, we’ll look at what impact its current liabilities have on its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE is a measure of a company’s yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the 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?

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 Stoneridge:

0.16 = US$68m ÷ (US$582m – US$157m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Therefore, Stoneridge has an ROCE of 16%.

Check out our latest analysis for Stoneridge

Does Stoneridge Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. It appears that Stoneridge’s ROCE is fairly close to the Auto Components industry average of 16%. Regardless of where Stoneridge sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

NYSE:SRI Past Revenue and Net Income, July 11th 2019
NYSE:SRI Past Revenue and Net Income, July 11th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and not necessarily predictive. Companies in cyclical industries can be difficult to understand using ROCE, as returns typically look high during boom times, and low during busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Stoneridge.

Stoneridge’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Stoneridge has total assets of US$582m and current liabilities of US$157m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 27% of its total assets. Low current liabilities are not boosting the ROCE too much.

The Bottom Line On Stoneridge’s ROCE

Overall, Stoneridge has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. Stoneridge 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.

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.