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Should You Care About Qorvo, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:QRVO) Investment Potential?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at Qorvo, Inc. (NASDAQ:QRVO) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we're going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

Firstly, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. 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.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from 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. 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 Qorvo:

0.082 = US$442m ÷ (US$5.8b - US$450m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

Therefore, Qorvo has an ROCE of 8.2%.

View our latest analysis for Qorvo

Is Qorvo's ROCE Good?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Using our data, Qorvo's ROCE appears to be around the 9.9% average of the Semiconductor industry. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Qorvo's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.

Our data shows that Qorvo currently has an ROCE of 8.2%, compared to its ROCE of 1.3% 3 years ago. This makes us wonder if the company is improving. You can see in the image below how Qorvo's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

NasdaqGS:QRVO Past Revenue and Net Income, January 20th 2020
NasdaqGS:QRVO Past Revenue and Net Income, January 20th 2020

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is 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.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Qorvo'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. 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Qorvo has total assets of US$5.8b and current liabilities of US$450m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 7.7% of its total assets. With low levels of current liabilities, at least Qorvo's mediocre ROCE is not unduly boosted.

Our Take On Qorvo's ROCE

Based on this information, Qorvo appears to be a mediocre business. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.

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. Thank you for reading.