If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. And in light of that, the trends we're seeing at ASML Holding's (AMS:ASML) look very promising so lets take a look.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?
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 ASML Holding:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.44 = €7.9b ÷ (€35b - €17b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2023).
Thus, ASML Holding has an ROCE of 44%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 15% earned by companies in a similar industry.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for ASML Holding compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering ASML Holding here for free.
So How Is ASML Holding's ROCE Trending?
ASML Holding is showing promise given that its ROCE is trending up and to the right. The figures show that over the last five years, ROCE has grown 194% whilst employing roughly the same amount of capital. So it's likely that the business is now reaping the full benefits of its past investments, since the capital employed hasn't changed considerably. The company is doing well in that sense, and it's worth investigating what the management team has planned for long term growth prospects.
For the record though, there was a noticeable increase in the company's current liabilities over the period, so we would attribute some of the ROCE growth to that. Effectively this means that suppliers or short-term creditors are now funding 48% of the business, which is more than it was five years ago. And with current liabilities at those levels, that's pretty high.
What We Can Learn From ASML Holding's ROCE
In summary, we're delighted to see that ASML Holding has been able to increase efficiencies and earn higher rates of return on the same amount of capital. Since the stock has returned a staggering 268% to shareholders over the last five years, it looks like investors are recognizing these changes. Therefore, we think it would be worth your time to check if these trends are going to continue.
On the other side of ROCE, we have to consider valuation. That's why we have a FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform that is definitely worth checking out.
High returns are a key ingredient to strong performance, so check out our free list ofstocks earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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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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