Today we'll evaluate Security and Intelligence Services (India) Limited (NSE:SIS) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. Then we'll compare its ROCE to similar companies. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.
What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed 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?
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 Security and Intelligence Services (India):
0.12 = ₹3.7b ÷ (₹46b - ₹16b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)
So, Security and Intelligence Services (India) has an ROCE of 12%.
Is Security and Intelligence Services (India)'s ROCE Good?
When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. It appears that Security and Intelligence Services (India)'s ROCE is fairly close to the Commercial Services industry average of 13%. Separate from how Security and Intelligence Services (India) stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.
You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Security and Intelligence Services (India)'s past growth compares to other companies.
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 misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Security and Intelligence Services (India).
How Security and Intelligence Services (India)'s Current Liabilities Impact 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.
Security and Intelligence Services (India) has total liabilities of ₹16b and total assets of ₹46b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 34% of its total assets. Security and Intelligence Services (India) has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost its ROCE somewhat.
Our Take On Security and Intelligence Services (India)'s ROCE
Unfortunately, its ROCE is still uninspiring, and there are potentially more attractive prospects out there. Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than Security and Intelligence Services (India). So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.