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Has Khadim India Limited (NSE:KHADIM) Been Employing Capital Shrewdly?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at Khadim India Limited (NSE:KHADIM) and reflect on its potential as an investment. To be precise, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

First, 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.

What is 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. 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?

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 Khadim India:

0.15 = ₹448m ÷ (₹5.5b - ₹2.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

So, Khadim India has an ROCE of 15%.

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Does Khadim India Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. It appears that Khadim India's ROCE is fairly close to the Specialty Retail industry average of 14%. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Khadim India's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. It is possible that there are more rewarding investments out there.

Khadim India's current ROCE of 15% is lower than 3 years ago, when the company reported a 21% ROCE. So investors might consider if it has had issues recently.

NSEI:KHADIM Past Revenue and Net Income, May 22nd 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily 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. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Khadim India.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Khadim India's 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.

Khadim India has total liabilities of ₹2.6b and total assets of ₹5.5b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 47% of its total assets. Khadim India has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost its ROCE somewhat.

The Bottom Line On Khadim India's ROCE

Despite this, its ROCE is still mediocre, and you may find more appealing investments elsewhere. 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).

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.