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Shareholders Should Look Hard At Vilmorin & Cie SA’s (EPA:RIN) 3.6%Return On Capital

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Vilmorin & Cie SA (EPA:RIN) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. Then we'll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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?

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 Vilmorin & Cie:

0.036 = €89m ÷ (€3.2b - €730m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Vilmorin & Cie has an ROCE of 3.6%.

View our latest analysis for Vilmorin & Cie

Is Vilmorin & Cie's ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. In this analysis, Vilmorin & Cie's ROCE appears meaningfully below the 8.5% average reported by the Food industry. This performance could be negative if sustained, as it suggests the business may underperform its industry. Aside from the industry comparison, Vilmorin & Cie's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.

You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Vilmorin & Cie's past growth compares to other companies.

ENXTPA:RIN Past Revenue and Net Income, January 22nd 2020

Remember that this metric is backwards looking - it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately predict the future. 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. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Vilmorin & Cie.

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

Vilmorin & Cie has total liabilities of €730m and total assets of €3.2b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 23% of its total assets. It is good to see a restrained amount of current liabilities, as this limits the effect on ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Vilmorin & Cie's ROCE

That said, Vilmorin & Cie's ROCE is mediocre, there may be more attractive investments around. Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than Vilmorin & Cie. 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.