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Here's What To Make Of Spark New Zealand's (NZSE:SPK) Decelerating Rates Of Return

·2-min read

If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. With that in mind, the ROCE of Spark New Zealand (NZSE:SPK) looks decent, right now, so lets see what the trend of returns can tell us.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

Just to clarify if you're unsure, ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Spark New Zealand:

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

0.19 = NZ$603m ÷ (NZ$4.1b - NZ$939m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Therefore, Spark New Zealand has an ROCE of 19%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Telecom industry average of 5.7% it's much better.

Check out our latest analysis for Spark New Zealand

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Spark New Zealand compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

How Are Returns Trending?

The trend of ROCE doesn't stand out much, but returns on a whole are decent. The company has consistently earned 19% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 23% in that time. 19% is a pretty standard return, and it provides some comfort knowing that Spark New Zealand has consistently earned this amount. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.

In Conclusion...

To sum it up, Spark New Zealand has simply been reinvesting capital steadily, at those decent rates of return. Therefore it's no surprise that shareholders have earned a respectable 76% return if they held over the last five years. So while the positive underlying trends may be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.

One more thing: We've identified 3 warning signs with Spark New Zealand (at least 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) , and understanding these would certainly be useful.

While Spark New Zealand isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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