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Slowing Rates Of Return At Herbalife Nutrition (NYSE:HLF) Leave Little Room For Excitement

Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing 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. So while Herbalife Nutrition (NYSE:HLF) has a high ROCE right now, lets see what we can decipher from how returns are changing.

Understanding 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Herbalife Nutrition:

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

0.31 = US$545m ÷ (US$2.7b - US$977m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

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Therefore, Herbalife Nutrition has an ROCE of 31%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Personal Products industry average of 16%.

See our latest analysis for Herbalife Nutrition

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In the above chart we have measured Herbalife Nutrition's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Herbalife Nutrition.

So How Is Herbalife Nutrition's ROCE Trending?

There hasn't been much to report for Herbalife Nutrition's returns and its level of capital employed because both metrics have been steady for the past five years. This tells us the company isn't reinvesting in itself, so it's plausible that it's past the growth phase. So while the current operations are delivering respectable returns, unless capital employed increases we'd be hard-pressed to believe it's a multi-bagger going forward.

The Key Takeaway

In summary, Herbalife Nutrition isn't compounding its earnings but is generating decent returns on the same amount of capital employed. And in the last five years, the stock has given away 65% so the market doesn't look too hopeful on these trends strengthening any time soon. In any case, the stock doesn't have these traits of a multi-bagger discussed above, so if that's what you're looking for, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

One more thing, we've spotted 3 warning signs facing Herbalife Nutrition that you might find interesting.

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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