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Is The Chemours Company’s (NYSE:CC) 13% ROCE Any Good?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at The Chemours Company (NYSE:CC) 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. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. 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 Chemours:

0.13 = US$783m ÷ (US$7.4b - US$1.4b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Chemours has an ROCE of 13%.

Check out our latest analysis for Chemours

Does Chemours Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. In our analysis, Chemours's ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 10% average in the Chemicals industry. I think that's good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Independently of how Chemours compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.

In our analysis, Chemours's ROCE appears to be 13%, compared to 3 years ago, when its ROCE was 5.1%. This makes us think the business might be improving. The image below shows how Chemours's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NYSE:CC Past Revenue and Net Income, October 27th 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Chemours.

Chemours's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On 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 ROCE is calculated, a high level of current liabilities makes a company look as though it has less capital employed, and thus can (sometimes unfairly) boost the ROCE. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Chemours has total assets of US$7.4b and current liabilities of US$1.4b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 19% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

Our Take On Chemours's ROCE

With that in mind, Chemours's ROCE appears pretty good. Chemours 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.

Chemours is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with 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.