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Should AYM Syntex Limited’s (NSE:AYMSYNTEX) Weak Investment Returns Worry You?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at AYM Syntex Limited (NSE:AYMSYNTEX) and reflect on its potential as an investment. To be precise, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

First of all, we'll work out how to calculate ROCE. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. Then we'll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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 AYM Syntex:

0.073 = ₹377m ÷ (₹8.1b - ₹2.9b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, AYM Syntex has an ROCE of 7.3%.

See our latest analysis for AYM Syntex

Does AYM Syntex Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. Using our data, AYM Syntex's ROCE appears to be significantly below the 12% average in the Luxury industry. This performance is not ideal, as it suggests the company may not be deploying its capital as effectively as some competitors. Regardless of how AYM Syntex stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is quite low (especially compared to a bank account). It is likely that there are more attractive prospects out there.

We can see that, AYM Syntex currently has an ROCE of 7.3%, less than the 23% it reported 3 years ago. So investors might consider if it has had issues recently. The image below shows how AYM Syntex's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NSEI:AYMSYNTEX Past Revenue and Net Income, October 9th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. If AYM Syntex is cyclical, it could make sense to check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Do AYM Syntex's Current Liabilities Skew Its ROCE?

Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills 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.

AYM Syntex has total assets of ₹8.1b and current liabilities of ₹2.9b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 36% of its total assets. With a medium level of current liabilities boosting the ROCE a little, AYM Syntex's low ROCE is unappealing.

The Bottom Line On AYM Syntex's ROCE

So researching other companies may be a better use of your time. But note: make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. 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 AYM Syntex better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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.