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Why We Like The Returns At Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL)

·2-min read

If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's amount of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. Speaking of which, we noticed some great changes in Sonic Healthcare's (ASX:SHL) returns on capital, so let's have a look.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Sonic Healthcare:

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

0.20 = AU$2.1b ÷ (AU$12b - AU$2.0b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

So, Sonic Healthcare has an ROCE of 20%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 6.2% earned by companies in a similar industry.

See our latest analysis for Sonic Healthcare

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Sonic Healthcare compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Sonic Healthcare here for free.

What Can We Tell From Sonic Healthcare's ROCE Trend?

Sonic Healthcare is displaying some positive trends. The data shows that returns on capital have increased substantially over the last five years to 20%. Basically the business is earning more per dollar of capital invested and in addition to that, 66% more capital is being employed now too. The increasing returns on a growing amount of capital is common amongst multi-baggers and that's why we're impressed.

The Bottom Line

All in all, it's terrific to see that Sonic Healthcare is reaping the rewards from prior investments and is growing its capital base. And investors seem to expect more of this going forward, since the stock has rewarded shareholders with a 88% return over the last five years. With that being said, we still think the promising fundamentals mean the company deserves some further due diligence.

If you'd like to know about the risks facing Sonic Healthcare, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should be aware of.

If you want to search for more stocks that have been earning high returns, check out this free list of stocks with solid balance sheets that are also earning high returns on equity.

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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