Today we'll evaluate CyberArk Software Ltd. (NASDAQ:CYBR) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. 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 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. 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 CyberArk Software:
0.096 = US$57m ÷ (US$749m - US$153m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)
Therefore, CyberArk Software has an ROCE of 9.6%.
Does CyberArk Software Have A Good ROCE?
ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. It appears that CyberArk Software's ROCE is fairly close to the Software industry average of 9.5%. Separate from how CyberArk Software 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 CyberArk Software's past growth compares to other companies.
When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily 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. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for CyberArk Software.
How CyberArk Software'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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.
CyberArk Software has total assets of US$749m and current liabilities of US$153m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 20% of its total assets. This is a modest level of current liabilities, which would only have a small effect on ROCE.
What We Can Learn From CyberArk Software's ROCE
With that in mind, we're not overly impressed with CyberArk Software'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).
I will like CyberArk Software better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider 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.