If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. So when we looked at YouGov (LON:YOU) and its trend of ROCE, we really liked what we saw.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
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 YouGov is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.19 = UK£29m ÷ (UK£228m - UK£70m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2022).
So, YouGov has an ROCE of 19%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Media industry average of 12% it's much better.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for YouGov 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.
The Trend Of ROCE
Investors would be pleased with what's happening at YouGov. The numbers show that in the last five years, the returns generated on capital employed have grown considerably to 19%. Basically the business is earning more per dollar of capital invested and in addition to that, 88% more capital is being employed now too. 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.
What We Can Learn From YouGov's ROCE
In summary, it's great to see that YouGov can compound returns by consistently reinvesting capital at increasing rates of return, because these are some of the key ingredients of those highly sought after multi-baggers. And with the stock having performed exceptionally well over the last five years, these patterns are being accounted for by investors. Therefore, we think it would be worth your time to check if these trends are going to continue.
One more thing, we've spotted 2 warning signs facing YouGov that you might find interesting.
While YouGov isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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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.