Today we’ll evaluate EVI Industries, Inc. (NYSEMKT:EVI) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we’re going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.
First, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting 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. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. 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’.
So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?
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 EVI Industries:
0.069 = US$7.6m ÷ (US$145m – US$33m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)
So, EVI Industries has an ROCE of 6.9%.
Is EVI Industries’s ROCE Good?
ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Using our data, EVI Industries’s ROCE appears to be around the 8.0% average of the Trade Distributors industry. Separate from how EVI Industries stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.
EVI Industries’s current ROCE of 6.9% is lower than its ROCE in the past, which was 52%, 3 years ago. Therefore we wonder if the company is facing new headwinds.
It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. Companies in cyclical industries can be difficult to understand using ROCE, as returns typically look high during boom times, and low during busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. If EVI Industries is cyclical, it could make sense to check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
How EVI Industries’s Current Liabilities Impact 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. 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.
EVI Industries has total assets of US$145m and current liabilities of US$33m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 23% of its total assets. This is a modest level of current liabilities, which would only have a small effect on ROCE.
The Bottom Line On EVI Industries’s ROCE
With that in mind, we’re not overly impressed with EVI Industries’s ROCE, so it may not be the most appealing prospect. You might be able to find a better buy than EVI Industries. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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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.