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FedEx's (NYSE:FDX) Returns On Capital Not Reflecting Well On The Business

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing 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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think FedEx (NYSE:FDX) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

Just to clarify if you're unsure, ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. To calculate this metric for FedEx, this is the formula:

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

0.07 = US$4.8b ÷ (US$83b - US$14b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to February 2021).

Thus, FedEx has an ROCE of 7.0%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Logistics industry average of 9.1%.

Check out our latest analysis for FedEx

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for FedEx 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 FedEx.

What Does the ROCE Trend For FedEx Tell Us?

In terms of FedEx's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 7.0% from 15% five years ago. However, given capital employed and revenue have both increased it appears that the business is currently pursuing growth, at the consequence of short term returns. If these investments prove successful, this can bode very well for long term stock performance.

The Bottom Line

In summary, despite lower returns in the short term, we're encouraged to see that FedEx is reinvesting for growth and has higher sales as a result. And the stock has followed suit returning a meaningful 84% to shareholders over the last five years. So while the underlying trends could already be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.

On a separate note, we've found 2 warning signs for FedEx you'll probably want to know about.

While FedEx isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.