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Here’s What Olympique Lyonnais Groupe SA’s (EPA:OLG) Return On Capital Can Tell Us

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Olympique Lyonnais Groupe SA (EPA:OLG) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.

First, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the 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 Olympique Lyonnais Groupe:

0.065 = €33m ÷ (€630m - €119m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Olympique Lyonnais Groupe has an ROCE of 6.5%.

See our latest analysis for Olympique Lyonnais Groupe

Is Olympique Lyonnais Groupe's ROCE Good?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. We can see Olympique Lyonnais Groupe's ROCE is around the 7.2% average reported by the Entertainment industry. Separate from how Olympique Lyonnais Groupe stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.

Olympique Lyonnais Groupe delivered an ROCE of 6.5%, which is better than 3 years ago, as was making losses back then. This makes us wonder if the company is improving. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Olympique Lyonnais Groupe's past growth compares to other companies.

ENXTPA:OLG Past Revenue and Net Income, December 13th 2019

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. 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 Olympique Lyonnais Groupe.

Do Olympique Lyonnais Groupe's Current Liabilities Skew Its ROCE?

Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Olympique Lyonnais Groupe has total assets of €630m and current liabilities of €119m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 19% of its total assets. It is good to see a restrained amount of current liabilities, as this limits the effect on ROCE.

Our Take On Olympique Lyonnais Groupe's ROCE

That said, Olympique Lyonnais Groupe's ROCE is mediocre, there may be more attractive investments around. But note: make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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

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.