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Should You Like Almonty Industries Inc.’s (TSE:AII) High Return On Capital Employed?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Almonty Industries Inc. (TSE:AII) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we're going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

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

ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since 'No two businesses are exactly alike.

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 Almonty Industries:

0.12 = CA$12m ÷ (CA$152m - CA$53m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

So, Almonty Industries has an ROCE of 12%.

View our latest analysis for Almonty Industries

Does Almonty Industries Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, we find that Almonty Industries's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 3.0% average in the Metals and Mining industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Regardless of where Almonty Industries sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

Almonty Industries has an ROCE of 12%, but it didn't have an ROCE 3 years ago, since it was unprofitable. That suggests the business has returned to profitability. The image below shows how Almonty Industries's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

TSX:AII Past Revenue and Net Income, December 22nd 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. We note Almonty Industries could be considered a cyclical business. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Almonty Industries.

Almonty Industries's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On 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. Due to the way ROCE is calculated, a high level of current liabilities makes a company look as though it has less capital employed, and thus can (sometimes unfairly) boost the ROCE. To counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Almonty Industries has total liabilities of CA$53m and total assets of CA$152m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 35% of its total assets. Almonty Industries has a middling amount of current liabilities, increasing its ROCE somewhat.

Our Take On Almonty Industries's ROCE

While its ROCE looks good, it's worth remembering that the current liabilities are making the business look better. Almonty Industries looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.

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.