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Examining Silkeborg IF Invest A/S’s (CPH:SIF) Weak Return On Capital Employed

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at Silkeborg IF Invest A/S (CPH:SIF) and reflect on its potential as an investment. 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. Then we'll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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?

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 Silkeborg IF Invest:

0.052 = ø27m ÷ (ø607m - ø80m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Silkeborg IF Invest has an ROCE of 5.2%.

Check out our latest analysis for Silkeborg IF Invest

Does Silkeborg IF Invest Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, Silkeborg IF Invest's ROCE appears to be significantly below the 12% average in the Entertainment industry. This performance could be negative if sustained, as it suggests the business may underperform its industry. Separate from how Silkeborg IF Invest stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. It is possible that there are more rewarding investments out there.

We can see that , Silkeborg IF Invest currently has an ROCE of 5.2% compared to its ROCE 3 years ago, which was 2.1%. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly. You can see in the image below how Silkeborg IF Invest's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

CPSE:SIF Past Revenue and Net Income, August 19th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and 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. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. You can check if Silkeborg IF Invest has cyclical profits by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Silkeborg IF Invest's 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 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Silkeborg IF Invest has total liabilities of ø80m and total assets of ø607m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 13% of its total assets. It is good to see a restrained amount of current liabilities, as this limits the effect on ROCE.

What We Can Learn From Silkeborg IF Invest's ROCE

With that in mind, we're not overly impressed with Silkeborg IF Invest's ROCE, so it may not be the most appealing prospect. But note: make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio 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.