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GuruFocus has detected 2 Warning Signs with Staples Inc \$SPLS.
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Staples Inc (NAS:SPLS)
Return on Capital
15.58% (As of Oct. 2016)

Return on capital measures how well a company generates cash flow relative to the capital it has invested in its business. It is also called Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). Staples Inc's annualized return on capital (ROC) for the quarter that ended in Oct. 2016 was 15.58%.

As of today, Staples Inc's weighted average cost Of capital is 13.75%. Staples Inc's return on capital is -5.89% (calculated using TTM income statement data). Staples Inc earns returns that do not match up to its cost of capital. It will destroy value as it grows.

Definition

Staples Inc's annualized Return on Capital (ROC) for the fiscal year that ended in Jan. 2016 is calculated as:

 Return on Capital (ROC) (A: Jan. 2016 ) = NOPAT / Average Invested Capital = Oper. Inc.*(1-Tax Rate) / ( (Invested Capital (A: Jan. 2015 ) + Invested Capital (A: Jan. 2016 )) /2) = 641 * ( 1 - 22.97% ) / ( (5796 + 5594) /2) = 493.7623 / 5695 = 8.67 %
 Invested Capital (A: Jan. 2015 ) = Book Value of Debt + Book Value of Equity - Cash = Long-Term Debt + Short-Term Debt + Minority Interest + Total Equity - Cash = 1018 + 92 + 8 + 5305 - 627 = 5796

 Invested Capital (A: Jan. 2016 ) = Book Value of Debt + Book Value of Equity - Cash = Long-Term Debt + Short-Term Debt + Minority Interest + Total Equity - Cash = 1018 + 17 + 8 + 5376 - 825 = 5594

Staples Inc's annualized Return on Capital (ROC) for the quarter that ended in Oct. 2016 is calculated as:

 Return on Capital (ROC) (Q: Oct. 2016 ) = NOPAT / Average Invested Capital = Oper. Inc.*(1-Tax Rate) / ( (Invested Capital (Q: Jul. 2016 ) + Invested Capital (Q: Oct. 2016 )) /2) = 1192 * ( 1 - 36.97% ) / ( (5019 + 4626) /2) = 751.3176 / 4822.5 = 15.58 %

where

 Invested Capital (Q: Jul. 2016 ) = Book Value of Debt + Book Value of Equity - Cash = Long-Term Debt + Short-Term Debt + Minority Interest + Total Equity - Cash = 1015 + 207 + 8 + 4564 - 775 = 5019

 Invested Capital (Q: Oct. 2016 ) = Book Value of Debt + Book Value of Equity - Cash = Long-Term Debt + Short-Term Debt + Minority Interest + Total Equity - Cash = 1024 + 23 + 8 + 4647 - 1076 = 4626

Note: The Operating Income data used here is four times the quarterly (Oct. 2016) operating income data.

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

Explanation

Return on Capital measures how well a company generates cash flow relative to the capital it has invested in its business. It is also called Return on Invested Capital. The reason book values of debt and equity are used is because the book values are the capital the company received when issuing the debt or receiving the equity investments.

There are four key components to this definition. The first is the use of operating income rather than net income in the numerator. The second is the tax adjustment to this operating income, computed as a hypothetical tax based on an effective or marginal tax rate. The third is the use of book values for invested capital, rather than market values. The final is the timing difference; the capital invested is from the end of the prior year whereas the operating income is the current years number.

Why is Return on Capital important?

Because it costs money to raise capital. A firm that generates higher returns on investment than it costs the company to raise the capital needed for that investment is earning excess returns. A firm that expects to continue generating positive excess returns on new investments in the future will see its value increase as growth increases, whereas a firm that earns returns that do not match up to its cost of capital will destroy value as it grows.

As of today, Staples Inc's weighted average cost Of capital is 13.75%. Staples Inc's return on capital is -5.89% (calculated using TTM income statement data). Staples Inc earns returns that do not match up to its cost of capital. It will destroy value as it grows.

Be Aware

Like ROE and ROA, ROC is calculated with only 12 months of data. Fluctuations in the companys earnings or business cycles can affect the ratio drastically. It is important to look at the ratio from a long term perspective.

Related Terms

Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their local exchange's currency.

Staples Inc Annual Data

 Jan07 Jan08 Jan09 Jan10 Jan11 Jan12 Jan13 Jan14 Jan15 Jan16 ROC 25.74 22.28 13.56 11.02 12.94 13.87 -4.24 11.56 2.49 8.67

Staples Inc Quarterly Data

 Jul14 Oct14 Jan15 Apr15 Jul15 Oct15 Jan16 Apr16 Jul16 Oct16 ROC 7.77 13.78 -16.25 4.81 4.16 16.42 10.09 3.66 -44.78 15.58
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