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Why We’re Not Impressed By Golden Power Group Holdings Limited’s (HKG:3919) 5.5% ROCE

Simply Wall St

Today we'll evaluate Golden Power Group Holdings Limited (HKG:3919) 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. Then we'll compare its ROCE to similar companies. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting 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. All else being equal, a better business will have a higher ROCE. Ultimately, it is a useful but imperfect metric. 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 Golden Power Group Holdings:

0.055 = HK$17m ÷ (HK$548m - HK$239m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

So, Golden Power Group Holdings has an ROCE of 5.5%.

Check out our latest analysis for Golden Power Group Holdings

Does Golden Power Group Holdings Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. We can see Golden Power Group Holdings's ROCE is meaningfully below the Electrical industry average of 8.1%. This could be seen as a negative, as it suggests some competitors may be employing their capital more efficiently. Aside from the industry comparison, Golden Power Group Holdings's ROCE is mediocre in absolute terms, considering the risk of investing in stocks versus the safety of a bank account. Investors may wish to consider higher-performing investments.

Golden Power Group Holdings's current ROCE of 5.5% is lower than 3 years ago, when the company reported a 16% ROCE. This makes us wonder if the business is facing new challenges. You can see in the image below how Golden Power Group Holdings's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

SEHK:3919 Past Revenue and Net Income, January 16th 2020

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. If Golden Power Group Holdings is cyclical, it could make sense to check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Are Current Liabilities, And How Do They Affect Golden Power Group Holdings's ROCE?

Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Golden Power Group Holdings has total assets of HK$548m and current liabilities of HK$239m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 44% of its total assets. Golden Power Group Holdings's ROCE is improved somewhat by its moderate amount of current liabilities.

The Bottom Line On Golden Power Group Holdings's ROCE

With this level of liabilities and a mediocre ROCE, there are potentially better investments out there. Of course, you might also be able to find a better stock than Golden Power Group Holdings. So you may wish to see this free collection of other companies that have grown earnings strongly.

If you are like me, then you will 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.