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Luxfer Holdings PLC (NYSE:LXFR) Earns A Nice Return On Capital Employed

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Luxfer Holdings PLC (NYSE:LXFR) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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, 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 measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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.

How Do You Calculate Return On Capital Employed?

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 Luxfer Holdings:

0.15 = US$48m ÷ (US$390m - US$74m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019.)

Therefore, Luxfer Holdings has an ROCE of 15%.

See our latest analysis for Luxfer Holdings

Does Luxfer Holdings Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Using our data, we find that Luxfer Holdings's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 11% average in the Machinery industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Independently of how Luxfer Holdings compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.

In our analysis, Luxfer Holdings's ROCE appears to be 15%, compared to 3 years ago, when its ROCE was 8.5%. This makes us wonder if the company is improving. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Luxfer Holdings's past growth compares to other companies.

NYSE:LXFR Past Revenue and Net Income April 7th 2020

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

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Luxfer Holdings's ROCE?

Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Luxfer Holdings has current liabilities of US$74m and total assets of US$390m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 19% of its total assets. Low current liabilities are not boosting the ROCE too much.

Our Take On Luxfer Holdings's ROCE

Overall, Luxfer Holdings has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. Luxfer Holdings 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 Luxfer Holdings better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.