If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Speaking of which, we noticed some great changes in Deufol's (HMSE:DE1) returns on capital, so let's have a look.
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. The formula for this calculation on Deufol is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.063 = €13m ÷ (€265m - €64m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
Therefore, Deufol has an ROCE of 6.3%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Logistics industry average of 14%.
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for Deufol's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you're interested in investigating Deufol's past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
The Trend Of ROCE
While in absolute terms it isn't a high ROCE, it's promising to see that it has been moving in the right direction. The numbers show that in the last five years, the returns generated on capital employed have grown considerably to 6.3%. The amount of capital employed has increased too, by 23%. 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.
Our Take On Deufol's ROCE
To sum it up, Deufol has proven it can reinvest in the business and generate higher returns on that capital employed, which is terrific. Given the stock has declined 18% in the last five years, this could be a good investment if the valuation and other metrics are also appealing. That being the case, research into the company's current valuation metrics and future prospects seems fitting.
One final note, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Deufol (including 1 which is significant) .
For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.
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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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