A Close Look At Brinker International, Inc.’s (NYSE:EAT) 30% ROCE

Today we’ll look at Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) 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. 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. 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?

Analysts use this formula to calculate return on capital employed:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

Or for Brinker International:

0.30 = US$244m ÷ (US$1.3b – US$488m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Brinker International has an ROCE of 30%.

See our latest analysis for Brinker International

Does Brinker International Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, we find that Brinker International’s ROCE is meaningfully better than the 10% average in the Hospitality industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Putting aside its position relative to its industry for now, in absolute terms, Brinker International’s ROCE is currently very good.

NYSE:EAT Past Revenue and Net Income, March 18th 2019
NYSE:EAT Past Revenue and Net Income, March 18th 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. 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, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Brinker International.

Brinker International’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE

Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. 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.

Brinker International has total assets of US$1.3b and current liabilities of US$488m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 38% of its total assets. A medium level of current liabilities boosts Brinker International’s ROCE somewhat.

The Bottom Line On Brinker International’s ROCE

Even so, it has a great ROCE, and could be an attractive prospect for further research. Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Brinker International. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.