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Are Moog Inc.’s Returns On Capital Worth Investigating?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Moog Inc. (NYSE:MOG.A) 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.

Firstly, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. 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. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. 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?

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 Moog:

0.11 = US$272m ÷ (US$3.1b - US$676m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Moog has an ROCE of 11%.

View our latest analysis for Moog

Does Moog Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Using our data, Moog's ROCE appears to be around the 10% average of the Aerospace & Defense industry. Separate from Moog's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

Our data shows that Moog currently has an ROCE of 11%, compared to its ROCE of 8.8% 3 years ago. This makes us wonder if the company is improving. You can see in the image below how Moog's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

NYSE:MOG.A Past Revenue and Net Income, August 23rd 2019

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. 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 Moog.

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

Moog has total liabilities of US$676m and total assets of US$3.1b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 22% of its total assets. Current liabilities are minimal, limiting the impact on ROCE.

Our Take On Moog's ROCE

Overall, Moog has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. There might be better investments than Moog out there, but you will have to work hard to find them . These promising businesses with rapidly growing earnings might be right up your alley.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.