If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. Although, when we looked at Eleco (LON:ELCO), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.
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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Eleco:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.087 = UK£2.5m ÷ (UK£43m - UK£14m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2023).
So, Eleco has an ROCE of 8.7%. On its own that's a low return on capital but it's in line with the industry's average returns of 9.3%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Eleco compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Eleco.
What Can We Tell From Eleco's ROCE Trend?
When we looked at the ROCE trend at Eleco, we didn't gain much confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 21%, but since then they've fallen to 8.7%. However it looks like Eleco 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.
In summary, Eleco is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. And investors may be recognizing these trends since the stock has only returned a total of 23% to shareholders over the last five years. As a result, if you're hunting for a multi-bagger, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.
Eleco does have some risks though, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Eleco that you might be interested in.
While Eleco 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.
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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.