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Is There More To Minda Corporation Limited (NSE:MINDACORP) Than Its 14% Returns On Capital?

Today we'll evaluate Minda Corporation Limited (NSE:MINDACORP) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. Then we'll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested 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?

The formula for calculating the return on capital employed is:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) Ã· (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

Or for Minda:

0.14 = â‚¹1.9b Ã· (â‚¹25b - â‚¹11b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Minda has an ROCE of 14%.

Does Minda Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. We can see Minda's ROCE is around the 15% average reported by the Auto Components industry. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Minda's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.

Minda's current ROCE of 14% is lower than its ROCE in the past, which was 20%, 3 years ago. So investors might consider if it has had issues recently. You can see in the image below how Minda's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

Remember that this metric is backwards looking - it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately 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, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Minda.

Minda'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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Minda has total liabilities of â‚¹11b and total assets of â‚¹25b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 44% of its total assets. Minda's ROCE is improved somewhat by its moderate amount of current liabilities.

The Bottom Line On Minda's ROCE

Unfortunately, its ROCE is still uninspiring, and there are potentially more attractive prospects out there. You might be able to find a better investment than Minda. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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.