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Is Bravura Solutions Limited (ASX:BVS) Investing Your Capital Efficiently?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Bravura Solutions Limited (ASX:BVS) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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 up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Then we'll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

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

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. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. 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'.

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 Bravura Solutions:

0.14 = AU$43m ÷ (AU$380m - AU$77m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Bravura Solutions has an ROCE of 14%.

View our latest analysis for Bravura Solutions

Does Bravura Solutions Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, Bravura Solutions's ROCE appears to be significantly below the 20% average in the Software industry. This performance is not ideal, as it suggests the company may not be deploying its capital as effectively as some competitors. Separate from Bravura Solutions's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

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

ASX:BVS Past Revenue and Net Income, October 28th 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. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Do Bravura Solutions's Current Liabilities Skew 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 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Bravura Solutions has total assets of AU$380m and current liabilities of AU$77m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 20% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

Our Take On Bravura Solutions's ROCE

Overall, Bravura Solutions has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. There might be better investments than Bravura Solutions out there, but you will have to work hard to find them . These promising businesses with rapidly growing earnings might be right up your alley.

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.