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Returns On Capital At SciPlay (NASDAQ:SCPL) Paint An Interesting Picture

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. Having said that, while the ROCE is currently high for SciPlay (NASDAQ:SCPL), we aren't jumping out of our chairs because returns are decreasing.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. The formula for this calculation on SciPlay is:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

0.32 = US$151m ÷ (US$520m - US$43m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

Therefore, SciPlay has an ROCE of 32%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Entertainment industry average of 15%.

View our latest analysis for SciPlay

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In the above chart we have measured SciPlay's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for SciPlay.

What Does the ROCE Trend For SciPlay Tell Us?

In terms of SciPlay's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. To be more specific, while the ROCE is still high, it's fallen from 50% where it was two years ago. Although, given both revenue and the amount of assets employed in the business have increased, it could suggest the company is investing in growth, and the extra capital has led to a short-term reduction in ROCE. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

On a side note, SciPlay has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 8.2% of total assets. So we could link some of this to the decrease in ROCE. What's more, this can reduce some aspects of risk to the business because now the company's suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of its operations. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money.

The Bottom Line On SciPlay's ROCE

While returns have fallen for SciPlay in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. And the stock has followed suit returning a meaningful 17% to shareholders over the last year. So while investors seem to be recognizing these promising trends, we would look further into this stock to make sure the other metrics justify the positive view.

While SciPlay doesn't shine too bright in this respect, it's still worth seeing if the company is trading at attractive prices. You can find that out with our FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform.

If you'd like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets here.

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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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