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Why You Should Care About Red Rock Resorts, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:RRR) Low Return On Capital

Bryson Sharp

Today we’ll look at Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRR) 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.

First, we’ll go over how we calculate ROCE. Then we’ll compare its ROCE to similar companies. Last but not least, we’ll look at what impact its current liabilities have on 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. 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.’

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 Red Rock Resorts:

0.087 = US$323m ÷ (US$3.9b – US$339m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

So, Red Rock Resorts has an ROCE of 8.7%.

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Is Red Rock Resorts’s ROCE Good?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. It appears that Red Rock Resorts’s ROCE is fairly close to the Hospitality industry average of 10%. Separate from how Red Rock Resorts stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. Readers may find more attractive investment prospects elsewhere.


NasdaqGS:RRR Last Perf January 23rd 19

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be misleading for companies in cyclical industries, with returns looking impressive during the boom times, but very weak during the 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 Red Rock Resorts.

How Red Rock Resorts’s Current Liabilities Impact 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.

Red Rock Resorts has total liabilities of US$339m and total assets of US$3.9b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 8.8% of its total assets. Red Rock Resorts reports few current liabilities, which have a negligible impact on its unremarkable ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Red Rock Resorts’s ROCE

Based on this information, Red Rock Resorts appears to be a mediocre business. Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking at a few good candidates. So take a peek at this free list of companies with modest (or no) debt, trading on a P/E below 20.

I will like Red Rock Resorts 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.