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What Can We Learn From G-III Apparel Group, Ltd.’s (NASDAQ:GIII) Investment Returns?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at G-III Apparel Group, Ltd. (NASDAQ:GIII) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we're going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. 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. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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'.

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 G-III Apparel Group:

0.12 = US$237m ÷ (US$2.7b - US$697m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2019.)

Therefore, G-III Apparel Group has an ROCE of 12%.

See our latest analysis for G-III Apparel Group

Does G-III Apparel Group Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. We can see G-III Apparel Group's ROCE is around the 12% average reported by the Luxury industry. Separate from G-III Apparel Group's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

G-III Apparel Group's current ROCE of 12% is lower than its ROCE in the past, which was 16%, 3 years ago. Therefore we wonder if the company is facing new headwinds. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how G-III Apparel Group's past growth compares to other companies.

NasdaqGS:GIII Past Revenue and Net Income, September 9th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for G-III Apparel Group.

Do G-III Apparel Group's Current Liabilities Skew 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 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

G-III Apparel Group has total assets of US$2.7b and current liabilities of US$697m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 26% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

Our Take On G-III Apparel Group's ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, G-III Apparel Group could be worth a closer look. G-III Apparel Group 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.

I will like G-III Apparel Group 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.