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Dana (NYSE:DAN) Could Be Struggling To Allocate Capital

Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Dana (NYSE:DAN) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

What Is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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 Dana is:

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

0.068 = US$357m ÷ (US$7.9b - US$2.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

Therefore, Dana has an ROCE of 6.8%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Auto Components industry average of 13%.

View our latest analysis for Dana

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In the above chart we have measured Dana's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Dana.

The Trend Of ROCE

In terms of Dana's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 6.8% from 15% five years ago. On the other hand, the company has been employing more capital without a corresponding improvement in sales in the last year, which could suggest these investments are longer term plays. It's worth keeping an eye on the company's earnings from here on to see if these investments do end up contributing to the bottom line.

In Conclusion...

In summary, Dana is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. Unsurprisingly then, the total return to shareholders over the last five years has been flat. Therefore based on the analysis done in this article, we don't think Dana has the makings of a multi-bagger.

If you want to continue researching Dana, you might be interested to know about the 2 warning signs that our analysis has discovered.

While Dana 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.

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