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Why You Should Like Dorman Products, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:DORM) ROCE

Sebastian Eder

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Today we’ll evaluate Dorman Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:DORM) 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. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. Then we’ll determine how its current liabilities are affecting its ROCE.

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

ROCE measures the ‘return’ (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. 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 Dorman Products:

0.24 = US$178m ÷ (US$849m – US$128m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Therefore, Dorman Products has an ROCE of 24%.

Check out our latest analysis for Dorman Products

Does Dorman Products Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. In our analysis, Dorman Products’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 15% average in the Auto Components industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Setting aside the comparison to its industry for a moment, Dorman Products’s ROCE in absolute terms currently looks quite high.

NasdaqGS:DORM Past Revenue and Net Income, February 21st 2019

Remember that this metric is backwards looking – it shows what has happened in the past, and does not accurately 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. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Dorman Products.

Do Dorman Products’s Current Liabilities Skew Its ROCE?

Current liabilities are short term bills and invoices that need to be paid in 12 months or less. 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Dorman Products has total liabilities of US$128m and total assets of US$849m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 15% of its total assets. A minimal amount of current liabilities limits the impact on ROCE.

What We Can Learn From Dorman Products’s ROCE

This is good to see, and with such a high ROCE, Dorman Products may be worth a closer look. 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 Dorman Products better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider 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.