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Allegion (NYSE:ALLE) Could Be Struggling To Allocate Capital

What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? 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. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. Having said that, from a first glance at Allegion (NYSE:ALLE) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper 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 Allegion:

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

0.18 = US$540m ÷ (US$3.7b - US$610m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

So, Allegion has an ROCE of 18%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 14% generated by the Building industry.

View our latest analysis for Allegion

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In the above chart we have measured Allegion'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

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Allegion doesn't inspire confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 18% from 24% five years ago. However it looks like Allegion might be reinvesting for long term growth because while capital employed has increased, the company's sales haven't changed much in the last 12 months. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

The Bottom Line On Allegion's ROCE

Bringing it all together, while we're somewhat encouraged by Allegion's reinvestment in its own business, we're aware that returns are shrinking. Unsurprisingly, the stock has only gained 13% over the last five years, which potentially indicates that investors are accounting for this going forward. Therefore, if you're looking for a multi-bagger, we'd propose looking at other options.

On a final note, we found 2 warning signs for Allegion (1 is a bit concerning) you should be aware of.

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.

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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