Today we'll look at Tai Hing Group Holdings Limited (HKG:6811) 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.
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.
Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)
ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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?
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 Tai Hing Group Holdings:
0.09 = HK$228m ÷ (HK$3.5b - HK$963m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)
Therefore, Tai Hing Group Holdings has an ROCE of 9.0%.
Does Tai Hing Group Holdings Have A Good ROCE?
ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Using our data, we find that Tai Hing Group Holdings's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 5.1% average in the Hospitality industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Aside from the industry comparison, Tai Hing Group Holdings's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.
You can see in the image below how Tai Hing Group Holdings's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.
It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. 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 Tai Hing Group Holdings.
How Tai Hing Group Holdings's Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE
Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they need to be paid within 12 months. The ROCE equation subtracts current liabilities from capital employed, so a company with a lot of current liabilities appears to have less capital employed, and a higher ROCE than otherwise. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.
Tai Hing Group Holdings has total assets of HK$3.5b and current liabilities of HK$963m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 28% of its total assets. This is a modest level of current liabilities, which would only have a small effect on ROCE.
What We Can Learn From Tai Hing Group Holdings's ROCE
That said, Tai Hing Group Holdings's ROCE is mediocre, there may be more attractive investments around. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.
Tai Hing Group Holdings is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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