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Does DCC plc's (LON:DCC) Recent Track Record Look Strong?

Simply Wall St

For investors with a long-term horizon, assessing earnings trend over time and against industry benchmarks is more valuable than looking at a single earnings announcement in one point in time. Investors may find my commentary, albeit very high-level and brief, on DCC plc (LON:DCC) useful as an attempt to give more color around how DCC is currently performing.

Check out our latest analysis for DCC

Did DCC beat its long-term earnings growth trend and its industry?

DCC's trailing twelve-month earnings (from 31 March 2019) of UK£263m has jumped 14% compared to the previous year.

However, this one-year growth rate has been lower than its average earnings growth rate over the past 5 years of 17%, indicating the rate at which DCC is growing has slowed down. What could be happening here? Well, let’s take a look at what’s occurring with margins and if the rest of the industry is experiencing the hit as well.

LSE:DCC Income Statement, July 27th 2019

In terms of returns from investment, DCC has fallen short of achieving a 20% return on equity (ROE), recording 11% instead. However, its return on assets (ROA) of 4.3% exceeds the GB Industrials industry of 3.8%, indicating DCC has used its assets more efficiently. And finally, its return on capital (ROC), which also accounts for DCC’s debt level, has increased over the past 3 years from 8.4% to 9.0%. This correlates with a decrease in debt holding, with debt-to-equity ratio declining from 117% to 73% over the past 5 years.

What does this mean?

Though DCC's past data is helpful, it is only one aspect of my investment thesis. Positive growth and profitability are what investors like to see in a company’s track record, but how do we properly assess sustainability? I suggest you continue to research DCC to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for DCC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for DCC’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Are DCC’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the trailing twelve months from 31 March 2019. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.