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Rogers Communications Inc. (TSE:RCI.B) Is Employing Capital Very Effectively

Simply Wall St

Today we’ll evaluate Rogers Communications Inc. (TSE:RCI.B) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. Finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE measures the ‘return’ (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since ‘No two businesses are exactly alike.’

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 Rogers Communications:

0.15 = CA$3.8b ÷ (CA$32b – CA$6.8b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2018.)

So, Rogers Communications has an ROCE of 15%.

See our latest analysis for Rogers Communications

Is Rogers Communications’s ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, we find that Rogers Communications’s ROCE is meaningfully better than the 6.8% average in the Wireless Telecom industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Separate from Rogers Communications’s performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

Our data shows that Rogers Communications currently has an ROCE of 15%, compared to its ROCE of 11% 3 years ago. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly.

TSX:RCI.B Past Revenue and Net Income, February 26th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and not necessarily predictive. 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. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Rogers Communications.

Rogers Communications’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 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Rogers Communications has total liabilities of CA$6.8b and total assets of CA$32b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 21% of its total assets. Low current liabilities are not boosting the ROCE too much.

What We Can Learn From Rogers Communications’s ROCE

Overall, Rogers Communications has a decent ROCE and could be worthy of further research. Of course you might be able to find a better stock than Rogers Communications. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.