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Should You Like Garrett Motion Inc.’s (NYSE:GTX) High Return On Capital Employed?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at Garrett Motion Inc. (NYSE:GTX) 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.

Firstly, 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.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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.

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 Garrett Motion:

0.63 = US$475m ÷ (US$2.1b - US$1.4b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

So, Garrett Motion has an ROCE of 63%.

View our latest analysis for Garrett Motion

Does Garrett Motion Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. In our analysis, Garrett Motion's ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 15% average in the Auto Components industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Putting aside its position relative to its industry for now, in absolute terms, Garrett Motion's ROCE is currently very good.

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

NYSE:GTX Past Revenue and Net Income, November 18th 2019

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 deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Garrett Motion.

Garrett Motion's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Garrett Motion has total liabilities of US$1.4b and total assets of US$2.1b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 65% of its total assets. Garrett Motion boasts an attractive ROCE, even after considering the boost from high current liabilities.

The Bottom Line On Garrett Motion's ROCE

In my book, this business could be worthy of further research. Garrett Motion 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.