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Ball's (NYSE:BLL) Returns On Capital Are Heading Higher

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·3 min read
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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look 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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. So on that note, Ball (NYSE:BLL) looks quite promising in regards to its trends of return on capital.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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. The formula for this calculation on Ball is:

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

0.10 = US$1.4b ÷ (US$19b - US$5.9b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

So, Ball has an ROCE of 10%. That's a pretty standard return and it's in line with the industry average of 10%.

See our latest analysis for Ball

roce
roce

In the above chart we have measured Ball's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Ball here for free.

The Trend Of ROCE

Ball has not disappointed with their ROCE growth. The figures show that over the last five years, ROCE has grown 86% whilst employing roughly the same amount of capital. So our take on this is that the business has increased efficiencies to generate these higher returns, all the while not needing to make any additional investments. On that front, things are looking good so it's worth exploring what management has said about growth plans going forward.

One more thing to note, Ball has decreased current liabilities to 31% of total assets over this period, which effectively reduces the amount of funding from suppliers or short-term creditors. Therefore we can rest assured that the growth in ROCE is a result of the business' fundamental improvements, rather than a cooking class featuring this company's books.

The Bottom Line On Ball's ROCE

In summary, we're delighted to see that Ball has been able to increase efficiencies and earn higher rates of return on the same amount of capital. And with the stock having performed exceptionally well over the last five years, these patterns are being accounted for by investors. In light of that, we think it's worth looking further into this stock because if Ball can keep these trends up, it could have a bright future ahead.

One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Ball and understanding this should be part of your investment process.

While Ball isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.