If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to 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. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. In light of that, when we looked at Gym Group (LON:GYM) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.
What Is 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Gym Group:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.0013 = UK£700k ÷ (UK£585m - UK£57m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
Thus, Gym Group has an ROCE of 0.1%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Hospitality industry average of 5.9%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Gym Group compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Gym Group here for free.
What Does the ROCE Trend For Gym Group Tell Us?
On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Gym Group doesn't inspire confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 8.2%, but since then they've fallen to 0.1%. 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.
On a side note, Gym Group has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 9.7% of total assets. That could partly explain why the ROCE has dropped. Effectively this means their suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of the business, which reduces some elements of risk. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money.
Our Take On Gym Group's ROCE
In summary, despite lower returns in the short term, we're encouraged to see that Gym Group is reinvesting for growth and has higher sales as a result. These growth trends haven't led to growth returns though, since the stock has fallen 31% over the last five years. As a result, we'd recommend researching this stock further to uncover what other fundamentals of the business can show us.
While Gym Group doesn't shine too bright in this respect, it's still worth seeing if the company is trading at attractive prices. You can find that out with our FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform.
While Gym Group isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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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.
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