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Why MIND C.T.I. Ltd’s (NASDAQ:MNDO) Return On Capital Employed Is Impressive

Devin Koller

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Today we’ll evaluate MIND C.T.I. Ltd (NASDAQ:MNDO) 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.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. 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. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Overall, it is a valuable metric that has its flaws. 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?

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 MIND C.T.I:

0.24 = US$4.7m ÷ (US$25m – US$3.7m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Therefore, MIND C.T.I has an ROCE of 24%.

See our latest analysis for MIND C.T.I

Does MIND C.T.I Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE is commonly used for comparing the performance of similar businesses. In our analysis, MIND C.T.I’s ROCE is meaningfully higher than the 9.5% average in the Software industry. We consider this a positive sign, because it suggests it uses capital more efficiently than similar companies. Regardless of the industry comparison, in absolute terms, MIND C.T.I’s ROCE currently appears to be excellent.

MIND C.T.I’s current ROCE of 24% is lower than its ROCE in the past, which was 33%, 3 years ago. Therefore we wonder if the company is facing new headwinds.

NasdaqGM:MNDO Past Revenue and Net Income, February 19th 2019

When considering this metric, keep in mind that it is backwards looking, and 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. If MIND C.T.I is cyclical, it could make sense to check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

How MIND C.T.I’s Current Liabilities Impact 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

MIND C.T.I has total liabilities of US$3.7m and total assets of US$25m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 15% of its total assets. A minimal amount of current liabilities limits the impact on ROCE.

Our Take On MIND C.T.I’s ROCE

With low current liabilities and a high ROCE, MIND C.T.I could be worthy of further investigation. 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.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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. On rare occasion, data errors may occur. Thank you for reading.