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Is Jiu Rong Holdings Limited’s (HKG:2358) Return On Capital Employed Any Good?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Jiu Rong Holdings Limited (HKG:2358) 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. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Last but not least, we'll look at what impact its current liabilities have on its ROCE.

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

ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. 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?

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 Jiu Rong Holdings:

0.086 = HK$48m ÷ (HK$1.8b - HK$1.2b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Jiu Rong Holdings has an ROCE of 8.6%.

See our latest analysis for Jiu Rong Holdings

Does Jiu Rong Holdings Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. We can see Jiu Rong Holdings's ROCE is around the 8.7% average reported by the Consumer Durables industry. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Jiu Rong Holdings's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.

Jiu Rong Holdings has an ROCE of 8.6%, but it didn't have an ROCE 3 years ago, since it was unprofitable. That implies the business has been improving. You can see in the image below how Jiu Rong Holdings's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

SEHK:2358 Past Revenue and Net Income, July 22nd 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and 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. How cyclical is Jiu Rong Holdings? You can see for yourself by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Jiu Rong Holdings's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they 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.

Jiu Rong Holdings has total liabilities of HK$1.2b and total assets of HK$1.8b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 69% of its total assets. With a high level of current liabilities, Jiu Rong Holdings will experience a boost to its ROCE.

Our Take On Jiu Rong Holdings's ROCE

Despite this, the company also has a uninspiring ROCE, which is not an ideal combination in this analysis. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.