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Is Xtep International Holdings Limited’s (HKG:1368) 15% ROCE Any Good?

Simply Wall St

Today we are going to look at Xtep International Holdings Limited (HKG:1368) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. 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.

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. 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?

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 Xtep International Holdings:

0.15 = CN¥1.1b ÷ (CN¥11b - CN¥3.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2019.)

Therefore, Xtep International Holdings has an ROCE of 15%.

See our latest analysis for Xtep International Holdings

Does Xtep International Holdings Have A Good ROCE?

When making comparisons between similar businesses, investors may find ROCE useful. Xtep International Holdings's ROCE appears to be substantially greater than the 9.6% average in the Luxury industry. I think that's good to see, since it implies the company is better than other companies at making the most of its capital. Regardless of where Xtep International Holdings sits next to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears satisfactory, and this company could be worth a closer look.

You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Xtep International Holdings's past growth compares to other companies.

SEHK:1368 Past Revenue and Net Income, December 4th 2019

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 deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. Future performance is what matters, and you can see analyst predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

Xtep International Holdings's Current Liabilities And Their Impact On Its ROCE

Short term (or current) liabilities, are things like supplier invoices, overdrafts, or tax bills that need to be paid within 12 months. The ROCE equation subtracts current liabilities from capital employed, so a company with a lot of current liabilities appears to have less capital employed, and a higher ROCE than otherwise. To counteract this, we check if a company has high current liabilities, relative to its total assets.

Xtep International Holdings has total liabilities of CN¥3.5b and total assets of CN¥11b. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 32% of its total assets. Xtep International Holdings has a medium level of current liabilities, which would boost the ROCE.

What We Can Learn From Xtep International Holdings's ROCE

Xtep International Holdings's ROCE does look good, but the level of current liabilities also contribute to that. Xtep International Holdings looks strong on this analysis, but there are plenty of other companies that could be a good opportunity . Here is a free list of companies growing earnings rapidly.

I will like Xtep International Holdings better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider 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.