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Here's What China Sunsine Chemical Holdings Ltd.'s (SGX:QES) ROCE Can Tell Us

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate China Sunsine Chemical Holdings Ltd. (SGX:QES) 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.

First of all, we'll work out how to calculate ROCE. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

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.

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 China Sunsine Chemical Holdings:

0.17 = CN¥428m ÷ (CN¥2.9b - CN¥347m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019.)

So, China Sunsine Chemical Holdings has an ROCE of 17%.

Check out our latest analysis for China Sunsine Chemical Holdings

Is China Sunsine Chemical Holdings's ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. In our analysis, China Sunsine Chemical Holdings's ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 6.6% average in the Chemicals industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Separate from China Sunsine Chemical Holdings's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

You can see in the image below how China Sunsine Chemical Holdings's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

SGX:QES Past Revenue and Net Income April 7th 2020

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. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect China Sunsine Chemical Holdings's ROCE?

Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

China Sunsine Chemical Holdings has current liabilities of CN¥347m and total assets of CN¥2.9b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 12% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

The Bottom Line On China Sunsine Chemical Holdings's ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, China Sunsine Chemical Holdings could be worth a closer look. China Sunsine Chemical Holdings 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.

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.