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Is Oxford Industries, Inc. (NYSE:OXM) Creating Value For Shareholders?

Simply Wall St

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Today we'll look at Oxford Industries, Inc. (NYSE:OXM) 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 up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Then we'll compare its ROCE to similar companies. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

Understanding 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'.

So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?

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 Oxford Industries:

0.11 = US$97m ÷ (US$1.0b - US$166m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to May 2019.)

Therefore, Oxford Industries has an ROCE of 11%.

See our latest analysis for Oxford Industries

Is Oxford Industries's ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. We can see Oxford Industries's ROCE is around the 12% average reported by the Luxury industry. Regardless of where Oxford Industries sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

Oxford Industries's current ROCE of 11% is lower than its ROCE in the past, which was 16%, 3 years ago. So investors might consider if it has had issues recently. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Oxford Industries's past growth compares to other companies.

NYSE:OXM Past Revenue and Net Income, July 9th 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Oxford Industries'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 ROCE is calculated, a high level of current liabilities makes a company look as though it has less capital employed, and thus can (sometimes unfairly) boost the ROCE. To counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Oxford Industries has total assets of US$1.0b and current liabilities of US$166m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 16% of its total assets. Current liabilities are minimal, limiting the impact on ROCE.

Our Take On Oxford Industries's ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, Oxford Industries could be worth a closer look. There might be better investments than Oxford Industries 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.