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What Can We Make Of Excel Industries Limited’s (NSE:EXCELINDUS) High Return On Capital?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Excel Industries Limited (NSE:EXCELINDUS) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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.

Firstly, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

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

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. 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 Excel Industries:

0.27 = ₹2.2b ÷ (₹9.2b - ₹1.2b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Excel Industries has an ROCE of 27%.

See our latest analysis for Excel Industries

Does Excel Industries Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, we find that Excel Industries's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 17% average in the Chemicals industry. I think that's good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Regardless of the industry comparison, in absolute terms, Excel Industries's ROCE currently appears to be excellent.

In our analysis, Excel Industries's ROCE appears to be 27%, compared to 3 years ago, when its ROCE was 18%. This makes us wonder if the company is improving. The image below shows how Excel Industries's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NSEI:EXCELINDUS Past Revenue and Net Income, October 27th 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. 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 Excel Industries.

Excel Industries'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. The ROCE equation subtracts current liabilities from capital employed, so a company with a lot of current liabilities appears to have less capital employed, and a higher ROCE than otherwise. To check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Excel Industries has total liabilities of ₹1.2b and total assets of ₹9.2b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 13% of its total assets. This is quite a low level of current liabilities which would not greatly boost the already high ROCE.

Our Take On Excel Industries's ROCE

With low current liabilities and a high ROCE, Excel Industries could be worthy of further investigation. Excel Industries 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.

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.