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What Can We Make Of Wanka Online Inc.’s (HKG:1762) High Return On Capital?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Wanka Online Inc. (HKG:1762) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we're going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First of all, we'll work out how to calculate ROCE. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

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

ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested 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. 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 Wanka Online:

0.18 = CN¥172m ÷ (CN¥1.4b - CN¥410m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Wanka Online has an ROCE of 18%.

View our latest analysis for Wanka Online

Does Wanka Online Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. In our analysis, Wanka Online's ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 14% average in the Interactive Media and Services industry. I think that's good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Separate from Wanka Online's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

Wanka Online delivered an ROCE of 18%, which is better than 3 years ago, as was making losses back then. That implies the business has been improving. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Wanka Online's past growth compares to other companies.

SEHK:1762 Past Revenue and Net Income, January 15th 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. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Wanka Online's ROCE?

Current liabilities include invoices, such as supplier payments, short-term debt, or a tax bill, that need to be paid within 12 months. 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.

Wanka Online has total assets of CN¥1.4b and current liabilities of CN¥410m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 29% of its total assets. A fairly low level of current liabilities is not influencing the ROCE too much.

Our Take On Wanka Online's ROCE

This is good to see, and with a sound ROCE, Wanka Online could be worth a closer look. Wanka Online 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.

Wanka Online is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.