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Are C&C Group plc’s (ISE:GCC) Returns On Investment Worth Your While?

Simply Wall St

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Today we are going to look at C&C Group plc (ISE:GCC) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.

First of all, we'll work out how to calculate ROCE. 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 measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed 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.'

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 C&C Group:

0.087 = €94m ÷ (€1.6b - €532m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to August 2018.)

So, C&C Group has an ROCE of 8.7%.

See our latest analysis for C&C Group

Is C&C Group's ROCE Good?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. Using our data, C&C Group's ROCE appears to be around the 9.5% average of the Beverage industry. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, C&C Group's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.

ISE:GCC Past Revenue and Net Income, April 1st 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

How C&C Group's Current Liabilities Impact 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.

C&C Group has total assets of €1.6b and current liabilities of €532m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 33% of its total assets. C&C Group's ROCE is improved somewhat by its moderate amount of current liabilities.

Our Take On C&C Group's ROCE

Despite this, its ROCE is still mediocre, and you may find more appealing investments elsewhere. Of course you might be able to find a better stock than C&C Group. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

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.