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Is Telford Homes Plc’s (LON:TEF) Return On Capital Employed Any Good?

Liliana Gabriel

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Today we’ll evaluate Telford Homes Plc (LON:TEF) 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.

Firstly, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Second, we’ll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. Last but not least, we’ll look at what impact its current liabilities have on 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. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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’.

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 Telford Homes:

0.19 = UK£45m ÷ (UK£435m – UK£198m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Therefore, Telford Homes has an ROCE of 19%.

View our latest analysis for Telford Homes

Is Telford Homes’s ROCE Good?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. We can see Telford Homes’s ROCE is around the 17% average reported by the Consumer Durables industry. Putting aside its position relative to its industry for now, in absolute terms, Telford Homes’s ROCE is currently very good.

AIM:TEF Last Perf February 5th 19

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 only a point-in-time measure. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Telford Homes’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. 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Telford Homes has total assets of UK£435m and current liabilities of UK£198m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 45% of its total assets. A medium level of current liabilities boosts Telford Homes’s ROCE somewhat.

The Bottom Line On Telford Homes’s ROCE

Even so, it has a great ROCE, and could be an attractive prospect for further research. But note: Telford Homes may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

I will like Telford Homes better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.