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Shareholders Should Look Hard At Kin Pang Holdings Limited’s (HKG:1722) 3.9%Return On Capital

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at Kin Pang Holdings Limited (HKG:1722) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. 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.

Firstly, 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.

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

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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 Kin Pang Holdings:

0.039 = MO$8.5m ÷ (MO$264m - MO$45m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Kin Pang Holdings has an ROCE of 3.9%.

View our latest analysis for Kin Pang Holdings

Does Kin Pang Holdings Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, Kin Pang Holdings's ROCE appears to be significantly below the 12% average in the Construction industry. This performance is not ideal, as it suggests the company may not be deploying its capital as effectively as some competitors. Regardless of how Kin Pang Holdings stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is quite low (especially compared to a bank account). There are potentially more appealing investments elsewhere.

Kin Pang Holdings's current ROCE of 3.9% is lower than 3 years ago, when the company reported a 31% ROCE. Therefore we wonder if the company is facing new headwinds. The image below shows how Kin Pang Holdings's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

SEHK:1722 Past Revenue and Net Income, October 19th 2019

Remember that this metric is backwards looking - it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately predict the future. 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 only a point-in-time measure. How cyclical is Kin Pang Holdings? You can see for yourself by looking at this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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

Kin Pang Holdings has total liabilities of MO$45m and total assets of MO$264m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 17% of its total assets. This is a modest level of current liabilities, which will have a limited impact on the ROCE.

What We Can Learn From Kin Pang Holdings's ROCE

Kin Pang Holdings has a poor ROCE, and there may be better investment prospects out there. You might be able to find a better investment than Kin Pang Holdings. If you want a selection of possible winners, check out this free list of interesting companies that trade on a P/E below 20 (but have proven they can grow earnings).

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