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EBOS Group (NZSE:EBO) Hasn't Managed To Accelerate Its Returns

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·3 min read
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What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing 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. With that in mind, the ROCE of EBOS Group (NZSE:EBO) looks decent, right now, so lets see what the trend of returns can tell us.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. The formula for this calculation on EBOS Group is:

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

0.14 = AU$274m ÷ (AU$3.9b - AU$1.9b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

Therefore, EBOS Group has an ROCE of 14%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 0.9% generated by the Healthcare industry.

See our latest analysis for EBOS Group

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roce

In the above chart we have measured EBOS Group'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.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

While the current returns on capital are decent, they haven't changed much. The company has employed 59% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 14%. 14% is a pretty standard return, and it provides some comfort knowing that EBOS Group has consistently earned this amount. Stable returns in this ballpark can be unexciting, but if they can be maintained over the long run, they often provide nice rewards to shareholders.

On a separate but related note, it's important to know that EBOS Group has a current liabilities to total assets ratio of 49%, which we'd consider pretty high. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) are funding a large portion of the business, so just be aware that this can introduce some elements of risk. Ideally we'd like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.

The Bottom Line On EBOS Group's ROCE

The main thing to remember is that EBOS Group has proven its ability to continually reinvest at respectable rates of return. And long term investors would be thrilled with the 140% return they've received over the last five years. So while investors seem to be recognizing these promising trends, we still believe the stock deserves further research.

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

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive returns on equity.

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. 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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