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# Steven Madden, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SHOO) Earns Among The Best Returns In Its Industry

Today we'll evaluate Steven Madden, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SHOO) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. In particular, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that can give us insight into how profitably the company is able to employ capital in its business.

First, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

### Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. In brief, it is a useful tool, but it is not without drawbacks. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since 'No two businesses are exactly alike.'

### 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) Ã· (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

0.20 = US\$202m Ã· (US\$1.3b - US\$282m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Steven Madden has an ROCE of 20%.

### Is Steven Madden's ROCE Good?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Steven Madden's ROCE appears to be substantially greater than the 12% average in the Luxury industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Separate from Steven Madden's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

The image below shows how Steven Madden's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and 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. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Steven Madden.

### How Steven Madden's Current Liabilities Impact 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.

Steven Madden has total assets of US\$1.3b and current liabilities of US\$282m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 22% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

### Our Take On Steven Madden's ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, Steven Madden could be worth a closer look. Steven Madden shapes up well under this analysis, but it is far from the only business delivering excellent numbers . You might also want to check this free collection of companies delivering excellent earnings growth.

I will like Steven Madden 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.