There are a few key trends to look for if we want to identify the next multi-bagger. Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. With that in mind, the ROCE of Hibbett (NASDAQ:HIBB) looks great, so lets see what the trend can tell us.
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. The formula for this calculation on Hibbett is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.23 = US$130m ÷ (US$937m - US$362m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2022).
Thus, Hibbett has an ROCE of 23%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Specialty Retail industry average of 18%.
In the above chart we have measured Hibbett's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
What Can We Tell From Hibbett's ROCE Trend?
The trends we've noticed at Hibbett are quite reassuring. The data shows that returns on capital have increased substantially over the last five years to 23%. The company is effectively making more money per dollar of capital used, and it's worth noting that the amount of capital has increased too, by 67%. This can indicate that there's plenty of opportunities to invest capital internally and at ever higher rates, a combination that's common among multi-baggers.
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. The current liabilities has increased to 39% of total assets, so the business is now more funded by the likes of its suppliers or short-term creditors. Keep an eye out for future increases because when the ratio of current liabilities to total assets gets particularly high, this can introduce some new risks for the business.
The Bottom Line On Hibbett's ROCE
To sum it up, Hibbett has proven it can reinvest in the business and generate higher returns on that capital employed, which is terrific. And a remarkable 224% total return over the last five years tells us that investors are expecting more good things to come in the future. With that being said, we still think the promising fundamentals mean the company deserves some further due diligence.
If you'd like to know more about Hibbett, we've spotted 3 warning signs, and 1 of them is a bit unpleasant.
If you'd like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets here.
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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