Today we’ll evaluate ANTA Sports Products Limited (HKG:2020) 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. Finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.
What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested 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.’
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 ANTA Sports Products:
0.31 = CN¥4.0b ÷ (CN¥21b – CN¥5.3b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2018.)
Therefore, ANTA Sports Products has an ROCE of 31%.
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Is ANTA Sports Products’s ROCE Good?
When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, we find that ANTA Sports Products’s ROCE is meaningfully better than the 9.4% average in the Luxury industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Setting aside the comparison to its industry for a moment, ANTA Sports Products’s ROCE in absolute terms currently looks quite high.
When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for ANTA Sports Products.
How ANTA Sports Products’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. 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.
ANTA Sports Products has total assets of CN¥21b and current liabilities of CN¥5.3b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 25% of its total assets. This is quite a low level of current liabilities which would not greatly boost the already high ROCE.
What We Can Learn From ANTA Sports Products’s ROCE
This is good to see, and with such a high ROCE, ANTA Sports Products may be worth a closer look. But note: ANTA Sports Products 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).
I will like ANTA Sports Products better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.