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Why We Like Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited’s (NZSE:FPH) 30% Return On Capital Employed

Simply Wall St

Today we'll look at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited (NZSE:FPH) and reflect on its potential as an investment. Specifically, we're going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First, we'll go over how we calculate ROCE. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. Finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities affect its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the 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. 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 Fisher & Paykel Healthcare:

0.30 = NZ$312m ÷ (NZ$1.3b - NZ$200m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2019.)

So, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has an ROCE of 30%.

See our latest analysis for Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Is Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's ROCE Good?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Using our data, we find that Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 15% average in the Medical Equipment industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Putting aside its position relative to its industry for now, in absolute terms, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's ROCE is currently very good.

You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's past growth compares to other companies.

NZSE:FPH Past Revenue and Net Income, February 9th 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 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 Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

Do Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's Current Liabilities Skew Its 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 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.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare has total assets of NZ$1.3b and current liabilities of NZ$200m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 16% of its total assets. This is quite a low level of current liabilities which would not greatly boost the already high ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Fisher & Paykel Healthcare's ROCE

This is good to see, and with such a high ROCE, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare may be worth a closer look. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare 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.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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.