dormakaba Holding AG (VTX:DOKA) Is Employing Capital Very Effectively

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate dormakaba Holding AG (VTX:DOKA) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. Then we'll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its 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'.

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 dormakaba Holding:

0.30 = CHF375m ÷ (CHF1.9b - CHF642m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, dormakaba Holding has an ROCE of 30%.

Check out our latest analysis for dormakaba Holding

Is dormakaba Holding's ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, we find that dormakaba Holding's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 18% average in the Building industry. I think that's good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Putting aside its position relative to its industry for now, in absolute terms, dormakaba Holding's ROCE is currently very good.

You can see in the image below how dormakaba Holding's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

SWX:DOKA Past Revenue and Net Income, January 15th 2020

Remember that this metric is backwards looking - it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately 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 dormakaba Holding.

Do dormakaba Holding's Current Liabilities Skew 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.

dormakaba Holding has total assets of CHF1.9b and current liabilities of CHF642m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 34% of its total assets. dormakaba Holding's ROCE is boosted somewhat by its middling amount of current liabilities.

Our Take On dormakaba Holding's ROCE

Even so, it has a great ROCE, and could be an attractive prospect for further research. dormakaba Holding 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.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.