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Why Genco Shipping & Trading Limited’s (NYSE:GNK) Return On Capital Employed Might Be A Concern

Simply Wall St

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Today we'll evaluate Genco Shipping & Trading Limited (NYSE:GNK) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. Specifically, we'll consider its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), since that will give us an insight into how efficiently the business can generate profits from the capital it requires.

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.

Understanding 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. Author Edwin Whiting says to be careful when comparing the ROCE of different businesses, since 'No two businesses are exactly alike.'

So, How Do We Calculate ROCE?

The formula for calculating the return on capital employed is:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

Or for Genco Shipping & Trading:

0.029 = US$44m ÷ (US$1.6b - US$101m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2019.)

Therefore, Genco Shipping & Trading has an ROCE of 2.9%.

View our latest analysis for Genco Shipping & Trading

Does Genco Shipping & Trading Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. In this analysis, Genco Shipping & Trading's ROCE appears meaningfully below the 4.8% average reported by the Shipping industry. This performance is not ideal, as it suggests the company may not be deploying its capital as effectively as some competitors. Independently of how Genco Shipping & Trading compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is low; especially compared to the ~2.7% available in government bonds. Readers may wish to look for more rewarding investments.

Genco Shipping & Trading reported an ROCE of 2.9% -- better than 3 years ago, when the company didn't make a profit. That implies the business has been improving. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Genco Shipping & Trading's past growth compares to other companies.

NYSE:GNK Past Revenue and Net Income, July 9th 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. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Genco Shipping & Trading.

Genco Shipping & Trading's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On 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 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 counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Genco Shipping & Trading has total assets of US$1.6b and current liabilities of US$101m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 6.3% of its total assets. With barely any current liabilities, there is minimal impact on Genco Shipping & Trading's admittedly low ROCE.

Our Take On Genco Shipping & Trading's ROCE

Nevertheless, there are potentially more attractive companies to invest in. But note: make sure you look for a great company, not just the first idea you come across. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with strong recent earnings growth (and a P/E ratio below 20).

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.