What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? 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. That's why when we briefly looked at PayPal Holdings' (NASDAQ:PYPL) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?
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. To calculate this metric for PayPal Holdings, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.12 = US$3.8b ÷ (US$76b - US$43b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
So, PayPal Holdings has an ROCE of 12%. That's a pretty standard return and it's in line with the industry average of 12%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for PayPal Holdings 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.
What Can We Tell From PayPal Holdings' ROCE Trend?
While the returns on capital are good, they haven't moved much. The company has employed 95% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 12%. Since 12% is a moderate ROCE though, it's good to see a business can continue to reinvest at these decent rates of return. Stable returns in this ballpark can be unexciting, but if they can be maintained over the long run, they often provide nice rewards to shareholders.
On a side note, PayPal Holdings' current liabilities are still rather high at 57% of total assets. This can bring about some risks because the company is basically operating with a rather large reliance on its suppliers or other sorts of short-term creditors. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, it can be beneficial if this ratio is lower.
The Bottom Line
The main thing to remember is that PayPal Holdings has proven its ability to continually reinvest at respectable rates of return. However, over the last five years, the stock hasn't provided much growth to shareholders in the way of total returns. That's why we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the fundamentals are appealing.
PayPal Holdings does have some risks though, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for PayPal Holdings that you might be interested in.
While PayPal Holdings 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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