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Are Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom Neft’s (MCX:SIBN) Returns Worth Your While?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom Neft (MCX:SIBN) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. 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, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. Last but not least, we'll look at what impact its current liabilities have on 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. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since 'No two businesses are exactly alike.

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 Gazprom Neft:

0.14 = ₽448b ÷ (₽3.7t - ₽449b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

So, Gazprom Neft has an ROCE of 14%.

See our latest analysis for Gazprom Neft

Does Gazprom Neft Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, Gazprom Neft's ROCE appears to be around the 15% average of the Oil and Gas industry. Setting aside the industry comparison for now, Gazprom Neft's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. It is possible that there are more rewarding investments out there.

We can see that, Gazprom Neft currently has an ROCE of 14% compared to its ROCE 3 years ago, which was 9.5%. This makes us wonder if the company is improving. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Gazprom Neft's past growth compares to other companies.

MISX:SIBN Past Revenue and Net Income, January 23rd 2020

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and 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. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. We note Gazprom Neft could be considered a cyclical business. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Gazprom Neft.

How Gazprom Neft's Current Liabilities Impact Its ROCE

Liabilities, such as supplier bills and bank overdrafts, are referred to as current liabilities if they 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Gazprom Neft has total liabilities of ₽449b and total assets of ₽3.7t. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 12% 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 Gazprom Neft's ROCE

That said, Gazprom Neft's ROCE is mediocre, there may be more attractive investments around. Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than Gazprom Neft. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.