China Feihe's (HKG:6186) Returns On Capital Not Reflecting Well On The Business

Simply Wall St ·  Oct 27, 2023 22:20

What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. However, after investigating China Feihe (HKG:6186), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

What Is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for China Feihe:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)

0.18 = CN¥5.2b ÷ (CN¥35b - CN¥6.8b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2023).

So, China Feihe has an ROCE of 18%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 9.3% generated by the Food industry.

See our latest analysis for China Feihe

SEHK:6186 Return on Capital Employed October 28th 2023

Above you can see how the current ROCE for China Feihe compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for China Feihe.

What Can We Tell From China Feihe's ROCE Trend?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at China Feihe, we didn't gain much confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 36%, but since then they've fallen to 18%. Meanwhile, the business is utilizing more capital but this hasn't moved the needle much in terms of sales in the past 12 months, so this could reflect longer term investments. It's worth keeping an eye on the company's earnings from here on to see if these investments do end up contributing to the bottom line.

On a related note, China Feihe has decreased its current liabilities to 19% of total assets. That could partly explain why the ROCE has dropped. Effectively this means their suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of the business, which reduces some elements of risk. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money.

The Bottom Line On China Feihe's ROCE

To conclude, we've found that China Feihe is reinvesting in the business, but returns have been falling. Since the stock has declined 70% over the last three years, investors may not be too optimistic on this trend improving either. On the whole, we aren't too inspired by the underlying trends and we think there may be better chances of finding a multi-bagger elsewhere.

On a separate note, we've found 1 warning sign for China Feihe you'll probably want to know about.

While China Feihe may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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