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Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) Hasn't Managed To Accelerate Its Returns

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If you're not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should keep an eye out for. Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. However, after investigating Albemarle (NYSE:ALB), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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 Albemarle is:

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

0.061 = US$562m ÷ (US$11b - US$1.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

So, Albemarle has an ROCE of 6.1%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Chemicals industry average of 11%.

Check out our latest analysis for Albemarle

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In the above chart we have measured Albemarle's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

The Trend Of ROCE

Things have been pretty stable at Albemarle, with its capital employed and returns on that capital staying somewhat the same for the last five years. Businesses with these traits tend to be mature and steady operations because they're past the growth phase. With that in mind, unless investment picks up again in the future, we wouldn't expect Albemarle to be a multi-bagger going forward.

What We Can Learn From Albemarle's ROCE

In a nutshell, Albemarle has been trudging along with the same returns from the same amount of capital over the last five years. Investors must think there's better things to come because the stock has knocked it out of the park, delivering a 215% gain to shareholders who have held over the last five years. But if the trajectory of these underlying trends continue, we think the likelihood of it being a multi-bagger from here isn't high.

If you want to continue researching Albemarle, you might be interested to know about the 4 warning signs that our analysis has discovered.

While Albemarle may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list 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.