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Does Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:MCRI) ROCE Reflect Well On The Business?

Simply Wall St

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Today we'll evaluate Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. (NASDAQ:MCRI) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we're going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

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 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. 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 Monarch Casino & Resort:

0.099 = US$43m ÷ (US$497m - US$61m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

So, Monarch Casino & Resort has an ROCE of 9.9%.

Check out our latest analysis for Monarch Casino & Resort

Is Monarch Casino & Resort's ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. It appears that Monarch Casino & Resort's ROCE is fairly close to the Hospitality industry average of 9.4%. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Monarch Casino & Resort'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.

Monarch Casino & Resort's current ROCE of 9.9% is lower than 3 years ago, when the company reported a 16% ROCE. Therefore we wonder if the company is facing new headwinds. The image below shows how Monarch Casino & Resort's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NasdaqGS:MCRI Past Revenue and Net Income, July 19th 2019

Remember that this metric is backwards looking - it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately 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, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Monarch Casino & Resort.

Do Monarch Casino & Resort's Current Liabilities Skew Its ROCE?

Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Monarch Casino & Resort has total assets of US$497m and current liabilities of US$61m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 12% of its total assets. This is a modest level of current liabilities, which would only have a small effect on ROCE.

Our Take On Monarch Casino & Resort's ROCE

With that in mind, we're not overly impressed with Monarch Casino & Resort's ROCE, so it may not be the most appealing prospect. 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.

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.