Why We Like V-Mart Retail Limited’s (NSE:VMART) 28% Return On Capital Employed

Gabriel Boyd

Today we’ll look at V-Mart Retail Limited (NSE:VMART) 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. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting 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. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. 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 V-Mart Retail:

0.28 = ₹1.1b ÷ (₹6.6b – ₹2.8b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Therefore, V-Mart Retail has an ROCE of 28%.

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Does V-Mart Retail Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. In our analysis, V-Mart Retail’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 12% average in the Multiline Retail industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Regardless of the industry comparison, in absolute terms, V-Mart Retail’s ROCE currently appears to be excellent.


NSEI:VMART Last Perf January 13th 19

Remember that this metric is backwards looking – it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately 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 only a point-in-time measure. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for V-Mart Retail.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect V-Mart Retail’s ROCE?

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

V-Mart Retail has total liabilities of ₹2.8b and total assets of ₹6.6b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 43% of its total assets. A medium level of current liabilities boosts V-Mart Retail’s ROCE somewhat.

The Bottom Line On V-Mart Retail’s ROCE

Even so, it has a great ROCE, and could be an attractive prospect for further research. But note: V-Mart Retail 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).

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.