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BRP Inc. (TSE:DOO) Earns Among The Best Returns In Its Industry

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at BRP Inc. (TSE:DOO) and reflect on its potential as an investment. 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.

First up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Then we'll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Last but not least, we'll look at what impact its current liabilities have on 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. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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?

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 BRP:

0.28 = CA$488m ÷ (CA$3.5b - CA$1.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2019.)

So, BRP has an ROCE of 28%.

Check out our latest analysis for BRP

Is BRP's ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, we find that BRP's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 16% average in the Leisure industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Regardless of the industry comparison, in absolute terms, BRP's ROCE currently appears to be excellent.

You can see in the image below how BRP's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

TSX:DOO Past Revenue and Net Income, November 18th 2019

Remember that this metric is backwards looking - it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately predict the future. 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. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for BRP.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect BRP's ROCE?

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

BRP has total assets of CA$3.5b and current liabilities of CA$1.7b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 49% of its total assets. BRP's ROCE is boosted somewhat by its middling amount of current liabilities.

Our Take On BRP's ROCE

Even so, it has a great ROCE, and could be an attractive prospect for further research. BRP 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 are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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.