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Should You Care About Inter Parfums, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:IPAR) Investment Potential?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at Inter Parfums, Inc. (NASDAQ:IPAR) 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 up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. Last but not least, we'll look at what impact its current liabilities have on its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. 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?

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 Inter Parfums:

0.16 = US$103m ÷ (US$800m - US$168m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

Therefore, Inter Parfums has an ROCE of 16%.

Check out our latest analysis for Inter Parfums

Does Inter Parfums Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. It appears that Inter Parfums's ROCE is fairly close to the Personal Products industry average of 19%. Regardless of where Inter Parfums sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

We can see that, Inter Parfums currently has an ROCE of 16% compared to its ROCE 3 years ago, which was 11%. This makes us think the business might be improving. The image below shows how Inter Parfums's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NasdaqGS:IPAR Past Revenue and Net Income, November 12th 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. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Inter Parfums.

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

Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that 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.

Inter Parfums has total liabilities of US$168m and total assets of US$800m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 21% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

The Bottom Line On Inter Parfums's ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, Inter Parfums could be worth a closer look. Inter Parfums 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.

I will like Inter Parfums 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.