U.S. markets closed
  • S&P Futures

    3,256.00
    +18.00 (+0.56%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    26,852.00
    +137.00 (+0.51%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    10,960.50
    +68.75 (+0.63%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    1,459.70
    +12.70 (+0.88%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    40.41
    +0.10 (+0.25%)
     
  • Gold

    1,867.60
    -9.30 (-0.50%)
     
  • Silver

    22.99
    -0.21 (-0.91%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1673
    -0.0003 (-0.02%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    0.6660
    -0.0100 (-1.48%)
     
  • Vix

    28.51
    -0.07 (-0.24%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2753
    +0.0001 (+0.01%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    105.4970
    +0.0950 (+0.09%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    10,710.63
    -49.96 (-0.46%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    218.25
    +9.30 (+4.45%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    5,822.78
    -76.48 (-1.30%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    23,240.43
    +152.61 (+0.66%)
     

Is Primoris Services Corporation’s (NASDAQ:PRIM) 13% ROCE Any Good?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at Primoris Services Corporation (NASDAQ:PRIM) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. To be precise, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

Firstly, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Then we'll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

What is 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. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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'.

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) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

Or for Primoris Services:

0.13 = US$150m ÷ (US$1.8b - US$687m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Primoris Services has an ROCE of 13%.

See our latest analysis for Primoris Services

Is Primoris Services's ROCE Good?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Primoris Services's ROCE appears to be substantially greater than the 9.7% average in the Construction industry. I think that's good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Separate from Primoris Services's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

The image below shows how Primoris Services's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NasdaqGS:PRIM Past Revenue and Net Income, October 22nd 2019
NasdaqGS:PRIM Past Revenue and Net Income, October 22nd 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the busts. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Primoris Services's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Primoris Services has total assets of US$1.8b and current liabilities of US$687m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 38% of its total assets. With this level of current liabilities, Primoris Services's ROCE is boosted somewhat.

Our Take On Primoris Services's ROCE

Primoris Services's ROCE does look good, but the level of current liabilities also contribute to that. Primoris Services looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.

I will like Primoris Services better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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.