What Can We Learn From Tapestry, Inc.’s (NYSE:TPR) Investment Returns?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 26, 2020
NYSE:TPR

Today we are going to look at Tapestry, Inc. (NYSE:TPR) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. 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, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect 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. 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 Tapestry:

0.11 = US$854m ÷ (US$8.7b - US$1.3b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019.)

So, Tapestry has an ROCE of 11%.

See our latest analysis for Tapestry

Is Tapestry's ROCE Good?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. Using our data, Tapestry's ROCE appears to be around the 11% average of the Luxury industry. Independently of how Tapestry compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.

Tapestry's current ROCE of 11% is lower than 3 years ago, when the company reported a 18% ROCE. So investors might consider if it has had issues recently. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Tapestry's past growth compares to other companies.

NYSE:TPR Past Revenue and Net Income, February 26th 2020
NYSE:TPR Past Revenue and Net Income, February 26th 2020

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and 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. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

How Tapestry'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 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Tapestry has current liabilities of US$1.3b and total assets of US$8.7b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 14% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

What We Can Learn From Tapestry's ROCE

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

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.

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. Thank you for reading.

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