What Should Investors Know About FARO Technologies Inc’s (NASDAQ:FARO) Return On Capital?

I am writing today to help inform people who are new to the stock market and looking to gauge the potential return on investment in FARO Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:FARO).

FARO Technologies stock represents an ownership share in the company. As a result, your investment is being put to work to fund operations and if you want to earn an attractive return on your investment, the business needs to be making an adequate amount of money from the funds you provide. You need to pay attention to this because your return on investment is linked to dividends and internal investments to improve the business, which can only occur if the company is expected to produce adequate earnings with the capital that has been provided. Therefore, looking at how efficiently FARO Technologies is able to use capital to create earnings will help us understand your potential return. Investors use many different metrics but the analysis below focuses on return on capital employed (ROCE). Let’s take a look at what it can tell us.

See our latest analysis for FARO Technologies

Calculating Return On Capital Employed for FARO

You only have a finite amount of capital to invest, so there are only so many companies that you can add to your portfolio. The cost of missing out on another opportunity comes in the form of the potential long term gain you could’ve received, which is dependent on the gap between the return on capital you could’ve achieved and that of the company you invested in. Hence, capital returns are very important, and should be examined before you invest in conjunction with a certain benchmark that represents the minimum return you require to be compensated for the risk of missing out on other potentially lucrative investments. We’ll look at FARO Technologies’s returns by computing return on capital employed, which will tell us what the company can generate from the money spent in operations. FARO’s ROCE is calculated below:

ROCE Calculation for FARO

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) = Earnings Before Tax (EBT) ÷ (Capital Employed)

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = US$9.7m ÷ (US$483m – US$80m) = 2.4%

As you can see, FARO earned $2.4 from every $100 you invested over the previous twelve months. This shows FARO Technologies provides an unsatisfying capital return that is well below the 15% ROCE that is typically considered to be a strong benchmark. Nevertheless, if FARO is clever with their reinvestments or dividend payments, investors can still grow their capital although to a poor extent.

NasdaqGS:FARO Last Perf December 6th 18
NasdaqGS:FARO Last Perf December 6th 18

Then why have investors invested?

FARO doesn’t return an attractive amount on capital, but this will only continue if the company is unable to increase earnings or decrease current capital requirements. Therefore, investors need to understand the trend of the inputs in the formula above, so that they can see if there is an opportunity to invest. Three years ago, FARO’s ROCE was 5.2%, which means the company’s capital returns have worsened. The movement in the earnings variable over this time shows a fall from US$38m to US$9.7m whilst capital employed has increased due to an increase in total assets employed , which means the company’s ROCE has shrunk as a result of falling earnings and simultaneous increases in capital requirements.

Next Steps

FARO Technologies’s ROCE has decreased in the recent past and is currently at a level that makes us question whether the company is capable of providing a suitable return on investment. Before making any decisions, ROCE does not tell the whole picture so you need to pay attention to other fundamentals like future prospects and valuation. If you’re building your portfolio and want to take a deeper look, I’ve added a few links below that will help you further evaluate FARO or move on to other alternatives.

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for FARO’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FARO’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is FARO worth today? Despite the unattractive ROCE, is the outlook correctly factored in to the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FARO is currently undervalued by the market.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.