Is Amkor Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMKR) Struggling With Its 7.8% Return On Capital Employed?

Today we are going to look at Amkor Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMKR) 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. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting 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. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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 Amkor Technology:

0.078 = US$261m ÷ (US$4.5b – US$1.2b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Amkor Technology has an ROCE of 7.8%.

See our latest analysis for Amkor Technology

Does Amkor Technology Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. We can see Amkor Technology’s ROCE is meaningfully below the Semiconductor industry average of 14%. This performance could be negative if sustained, as it suggests the business may underperform its industry. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Amkor Technology’s ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.

In our analysis, Amkor Technology’s ROCE appears to be 7.8%, compared to 3 years ago, when its ROCE was 5.5%. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly.

NasdaqGS:AMKR Past Revenue and Net Income, March 13th 2019
NasdaqGS:AMKR Past Revenue and Net Income, March 13th 2019

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. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Amkor Technology.

Do Amkor Technology’s Current Liabilities Skew 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.

Amkor Technology has total assets of US$4.5b and current liabilities of US$1.2b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 26% of its total assets. This very reasonable level of current liabilities would not boost the ROCE by much.

Our Take On Amkor Technology’s ROCE

If Amkor Technology continues to earn an uninspiring ROCE, there may be better places to invest. But note: Amkor Technology may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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.