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Is The Gorman-Rupp Company (NYSE:GRC) Better Than Average At Deploying Capital?

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Simply Wall St
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Today we'll look at The Gorman-Rupp Company (NYSE:GRC) 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.

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

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. 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'.

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 Gorman-Rupp:

0.13 = US$43m ÷ (US$387m - US$51m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

So, Gorman-Rupp has an ROCE of 13%.

See our latest analysis for Gorman-Rupp

Does Gorman-Rupp Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. It appears that Gorman-Rupp's ROCE is fairly close to the Machinery industry average of 11%. Separate from Gorman-Rupp's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Gorman-Rupp's past growth compares to other companies.

NYSE:GRC Past Revenue and Net Income, November 28th 2019
NYSE:GRC Past Revenue and Net Income, November 28th 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Gorman-Rupp.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Gorman-Rupp'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 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.

Gorman-Rupp has total liabilities of US$51m and total assets of US$387m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 13% of its total assets. Current liabilities are minimal, limiting the impact on ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Gorman-Rupp's ROCE

With that in mind, Gorman-Rupp's ROCE appears pretty good. Gorman-Rupp looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.

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. Thank you for reading.