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Are SYNNEX Corporation’s (NYSE:SNX) Returns On Investment Worth Your While?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at SYNNEX Corporation (NYSE:SNX) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. To be precise, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), as that will inform our view of the quality of the business.

First up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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 SYNNEX:

0.11 = US$734m ÷ (US$11b - US$4.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to May 2019.)

So, SYNNEX has an ROCE of 11%.

Check out our latest analysis for SYNNEX

Does SYNNEX Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. We can see SYNNEX's ROCE is around the 12% average reported by the Electronic industry. Separate from SYNNEX'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 SYNNEX's ROCE compares to its industry, and you can click it to see more detail on its past growth.

NYSE:SNX Past Revenue and Net Income, August 11th 2019

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily 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, 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 SYNNEX.

Do SYNNEX's Current Liabilities Skew 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

SYNNEX has total liabilities of US$4.5b and total assets of US$11b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 40% of its total assets. SYNNEX has a middling amount of current liabilities, increasing its ROCE somewhat.

Our Take On SYNNEX's ROCE

SYNNEX's ROCE does look good, but the level of current liabilities also contribute to that. SYNNEX 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.

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.