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Is Astral Poly Technik Limited’s (NSE:ASTRAL) 21% ROCE Any Good?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at Astral Poly Technik Limited (NSE:ASTRAL) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. 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.

Firstly, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

Understanding 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. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. 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?

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 Astral Poly Technik:

0.21 = ₹3.1b ÷ (₹21b - ₹5.9b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Astral Poly Technik has an ROCE of 21%.

View our latest analysis for Astral Poly Technik

Is Astral Poly Technik's ROCE Good?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, we find that Astral Poly Technik's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 13% average in the Building industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Independently of how Astral Poly Technik compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.

The image below shows how Astral Poly Technik's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NSEI:ASTRAL Past Revenue and Net Income, August 29th 2019
NSEI:ASTRAL Past Revenue and Net Income, August 29th 2019

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. 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 Astral Poly Technik.

Do Astral Poly Technik'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. 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.

Astral Poly Technik has total assets of ₹21b and current liabilities of ₹5.9b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 28% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

What We Can Learn From Astral Poly Technik's ROCE

With that in mind, Astral Poly Technik's ROCE appears pretty good. Astral Poly Technik 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.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.