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Why Bharat Forge Limited’s (NSE:BHARATFORG) Return On Capital Employed Is Impressive

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at Bharat Forge Limited (NSE:BHARATFORG) and reflect on its potential as an investment. 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. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect 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. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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 Bharat Forge:

0.19 = ₹14b ÷ (₹116b - ₹41b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Bharat Forge has an ROCE of 19%.

Check out our latest analysis for Bharat Forge

Is Bharat Forge's ROCE Good?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. Bharat Forge's ROCE appears to be substantially greater than the 15% average in the Auto Components industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Regardless of where Bharat Forge sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

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

NSEI:BHARATFORG Past Revenue and Net Income, August 25th 2019

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. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Bharat Forge.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Bharat Forge's 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.

Bharat Forge has total assets of ₹116b and current liabilities of ₹41b. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 35% of its total assets. Bharat Forge has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost the ROCE.

Our Take On Bharat Forge's ROCE

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