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What Can We Learn From Ador Welding Limited’s (NSE:ADORWELD) Investment Returns?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at Ador Welding Limited (NSE:ADORWELD) 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 of all, we'll work out how to calculate ROCE. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect 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. 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.

So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?

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 Ador Welding:

0.14 = ₹384m ÷ (₹4.3b - ₹1.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Ador Welding has an ROCE of 14%.

See our latest analysis for Ador Welding

Does Ador Welding Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. It appears that Ador Welding's ROCE is fairly close to the Machinery industry average of 13%. Separate from how Ador Welding 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.

The image below shows how Ador Welding's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NSEI:ADORWELD Past Revenue and Net Income, November 8th 2019

Remember that this metric is backwards looking - it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately 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. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Ador Welding's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its 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.

Ador Welding has total liabilities of ₹1.6b and total assets of ₹4.3b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 36% of its total assets. Ador Welding has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost its ROCE somewhat.

The Bottom Line On Ador Welding's ROCE

With this level of liabilities and a mediocre ROCE, there are potentially better investments out there. Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than Ador Welding. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

I will like Ador Welding better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider 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.