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Does Shoe Carnival, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:SCVL) ROCE Reflect Well On The Business?

Simply Wall St
·3-min read

Today we'll evaluate Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCVL) to determine whether it could have potential as an investment idea. 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. Second, we'll look at its ROCE compared to similar companies. And finally, we'll look at how its current liabilities are impacting its ROCE.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

ROCE measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. In general, businesses with a higher ROCE are usually better quality. 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 Shoe Carnival:

0.098 = US$51m ÷ (US$648m - US$131m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to November 2019.)

So, Shoe Carnival has an ROCE of 9.8%.

Check out our latest analysis for Shoe Carnival

Does Shoe Carnival Have A Good ROCE?

One way to assess ROCE is to compare similar companies. Using our data, Shoe Carnival's ROCE appears to be around the 11% average of the Specialty Retail industry. Independently of how Shoe Carnival compares to its industry, its ROCE in absolute terms appears decent, and the company may be worthy of closer investigation.

You can see in the image below how Shoe Carnival's ROCE compares to its industry. Click to see more on past growth.

NasdaqGS:SCVL Past Revenue and Net Income, February 3rd 2020
NasdaqGS:SCVL Past Revenue and Net Income, February 3rd 2020

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. ROCE is only a point-in-time measure. What happens in the future is pretty important for investors, so we have prepared a free report on analyst forecasts for Shoe Carnival.

How Shoe Carnival'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 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 check the impact of this, we calculate if a company has high current liabilities relative to its total assets.

Shoe Carnival has total assets of US$648m and current liabilities of US$131m. Therefore its current liabilities are equivalent to approximately 20% of its total assets. Low current liabilities are not boosting the ROCE too much.

The Bottom Line On Shoe Carnival's ROCE

With that in mind, Shoe Carnival's ROCE appears pretty good. Shoe Carnival 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.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.