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Does ORPEA Société Anonyme’s (EPA:ORP) ROCE Reflect Well On The Business?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at ORPEA Société Anonyme (EPA:ORP) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. In particular, we’ll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that can give us insight into how profitably the company is able to employ capital in its business.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Last but not least, we’ll look at what impact its current liabilities have on its ROCE.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. 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.’

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 ORPEA Société Anonyme:

0.048 = €408m ÷ (€10b – €1.9b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2018.)

Therefore, ORPEA Société Anonyme has an ROCE of 4.8%.

Check out our latest analysis for ORPEA Société Anonyme

Does ORPEA Société Anonyme Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, ORPEA Société Anonyme’s ROCE appears to be around the 5.9% average of the Healthcare industry. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, ORPEA Société Anonyme’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.

ENXTPA:ORP Past Revenue and Net Income, March 14th 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

ORPEA Société Anonyme’s Current Liabilities And Their Impact On 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.

ORPEA Société Anonyme has total liabilities of €1.9b and total assets of €10b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 18% of its total assets. It is good to see a restrained amount of current liabilities, as this limits the effect on ROCE.

Our Take On ORPEA Société Anonyme’s ROCE

If ORPEA Société Anonyme continues to earn an uninspiring ROCE, there may be better places to invest. But note: ORPEA Société Anonyme may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

I will like ORPEA Société Anonyme 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.