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Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) Knows How To Allocate Capital

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  • FAST

If you're not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should keep an eye out for. 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. With that in mind, the ROCE of Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) looks attractive right now, so lets see what the trend of returns can tell us.

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

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Fastenal:

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

0.33 = US$1.2b ÷ (US$4.2b - US$650m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

So, Fastenal has an ROCE of 33%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Trade Distributors industry average of 11%.

View our latest analysis for Fastenal

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Fastenal compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

How Are Returns Trending?

It's hard not to be impressed by Fastenal's returns on capital. The company has consistently earned 33% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 54% in that time. With returns that high, it's great that the business can continually reinvest its money at such appealing rates of return. You'll see this when looking at well operated businesses or favorable business models.

The Bottom Line

In short, we'd argue Fastenal has the makings of a multi-bagger since its been able to compound its capital at very profitable rates of return. On top of that, the stock has rewarded shareholders with a remarkable 178% return to those who've held over the last five years. So while the positive underlying trends may be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.

One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing Fastenal that you might find interesting.

If you'd like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets here.

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.