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Why We’re Not Impressed By Haemonetics Corporation’s (NYSE:HAE) 8.3% ROCE

Matthew Smith

Today we are going to look at Haemonetics Corporation ( NYSE:HAE ) to see whether it might be an attractive investment prospect. Specifically, we’re going to calculate its Return On Capital Employed (ROCE), in the hopes of getting some insight into the business.

First of all, we’ll work out how to calculate ROCE. Next, we’ll compare it to others in its industry. And finally, we’ll look at how its current liabilities are impacting 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. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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.’

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 Haemonetics:

0.083 = US$72m ÷ (US$1.3b – US$189m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2018.)

Therefore, Haemonetics has an ROCE of 8.3%.

Check out our latest analysis for Haemonetics

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Does Haemonetics Have A Good ROCE?

ROCE can be useful when making comparisons, such as between similar companies. In this analysis, Haemonetics’s ROCE appears meaningfully below the 11% average reported by the Medical Equipment industry. This performance could be negative if sustained, as it suggests the business may underperform its industry. Separate from how Haemonetics stacks up against its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms is mediocre; relative to the returns on government bonds. It is possible that there are more rewarding investments out there.

Our data shows that Haemonetics currently has an ROCE of 8.3%, compared to its ROCE of 4.5% 3 years ago. This makes us think about whether the company has been reinvesting shrewdly.

NYSE:HAE Last Perf January 29th 19

When considering ROCE, bear in mind that it reflects the past and does not necessarily predict the future. ROCE can be deceptive for cyclical businesses, as returns can look incredible in boom times, and terribly low in downturns. This is because ROCE only looks at one year, instead of considering returns across a whole cycle. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Haemonetics .

How Haemonetics’s Current Liabilities Impact 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 counter this, investors can check if a company has high current liabilities relative to total assets.

Haemonetics has total assets of US$1.3b and current liabilities of US$189m. As a result, its current liabilities are equal to approximately 15% of its total assets. This is a modest level of current liabilities, which would only have a small effect on ROCE.

Our Take On Haemonetics’s ROCE

With that in mind, we’re not overly impressed with Haemonetics’s ROCE, so it may not be the most appealing prospect. But note: Haemonetics may not be the best stock to buy . 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 like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com .