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Evaluating Wipro Limited’s (NSE:WIPRO) Investments In Its Business

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at Wipro Limited (NSE:WIPRO) 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.

First, 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 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. 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?

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 Wipro:

0.16 = ₹104b ÷ (₹876b - ₹225b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Wipro has an ROCE of 16%.

Check out our latest analysis for Wipro

Does Wipro Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, Wipro's ROCE appears to be around the 14% average of the IT industry. Separate from Wipro's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

You can see in the image below how Wipro's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

NSEI:WIPRO Past Revenue and Net Income, August 28th 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, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Wipro.

How Wipro's Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE

Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Wipro has total assets of ₹876b and current liabilities of ₹225b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 26% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

Our Take On Wipro's ROCE

Overall, Wipro has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. Wipro 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.

I will like Wipro 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.