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Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL) Earns Among The Best Returns In Its Industry

Simply Wall St

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Today we'll look at Regis Resources Limited (ASX:RRL) and reflect on its potential as an investment. 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. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared 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. 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'.

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 Regis Resources:

0.30 = AU$242m ÷ (AU$885m - AU$75m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

Therefore, Regis Resources has an ROCE of 30%.

Check out our latest analysis for Regis Resources

Does Regis Resources Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, we find that Regis Resources's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 9.1% average in the Metals and Mining 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. Regardless of the industry comparison, in absolute terms, Regis Resources's ROCE currently appears to be excellent.

ASX:RRL Past Revenue and Net Income, April 3rd 2019

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is 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. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. We note Regis Resources could be considered a cyclical business. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Regis Resources.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Regis Resources's 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Regis Resources has total liabilities of AU$75m and total assets of AU$885m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 8.5% of its total assets. Regis Resources has low current liabilities, which have a negligible impact on its relatively good ROCE.

Our Take On Regis Resources's ROCE

This should mark the company as worthy of further investigation. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

I will like Regis Resources 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.