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Why We Like Mastermyne Group Limited’s (ASX:MYE) 19% Return On Capital Employed

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at Mastermyne Group Limited (ASX:MYE) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. 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 up, we'll look at what ROCE is and how we calculate it. Next, we'll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Generally speaking a higher ROCE is better. 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 Mastermyne Group:

0.19 = AU$14m ÷ (AU$118m - AU$43m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019.)

So, Mastermyne Group has an ROCE of 19%.

View our latest analysis for Mastermyne Group

Does Mastermyne Group Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, we find that Mastermyne Group's ROCE is meaningfully better than the 9.8% average in the Metals and Mining industry. We would consider this a positive, as it suggests it is using capital more effectively than other similar companies. Separate from Mastermyne Group's performance relative to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms looks satisfactory, and it may be worth researching in more depth.

Mastermyne Group has an ROCE of 19%, but it didn't have an ROCE 3 years ago, since it was unprofitable. That suggests the business has returned to profitability. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Mastermyne Group's past growth compares to other companies.

ASX:MYE Past Revenue and Net Income June 17th 2020

It is important to remember that ROCE shows past performance, and is not necessarily predictive. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is, after all, simply a snap shot of a single year. Remember that most companies like Mastermyne Group are cyclical businesses. Since the future is so important for investors, you should check out our free report on analyst forecasts for Mastermyne Group.

Do Mastermyne Group'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 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.

Mastermyne Group has current liabilities of AU$43m and total assets of AU$118m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 37% of its total assets. Mastermyne Group has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost the ROCE.

The Bottom Line On Mastermyne Group's ROCE

While its ROCE looks good, it's worth remembering that the current liabilities are making the business look better. Mastermyne Group 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.

Mastermyne Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.