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Are Leon's Furniture Limited’s (TSE:LNF) Returns Worth Your While?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at Leon's Furniture Limited (TSE:LNF) and reflect on its potential as an investment. 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.

First of all, we'll work out how to calculate ROCE. Then we'll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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'.

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 Leon's Furniture:

0.10 = CA$163m ÷ (CA$2.1b - CA$509m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

Therefore, Leon's Furniture has an ROCE of 10%.

See our latest analysis for Leon's Furniture

Does Leon's Furniture Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. Using our data, Leon's Furniture's ROCE appears to be around the 10% average of the Specialty Retail industry. Independently of how Leon's Furniture compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.

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

TSX:LNF Past Revenue and Net Income, December 6th 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is 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. 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 Leon's Furniture.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Leon's Furniture's 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Leon's Furniture has total assets of CA$2.1b and current liabilities of CA$509m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 25% of its total assets. Low current liabilities are not boosting the ROCE too much.

Our Take On Leon's Furniture's ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, Leon's Furniture could be worth a closer look. Leon's Furniture looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.

Leon's Furniture is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.