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Is Henry Boot (LON:BOOT) Likely To Turn Things Around?

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? 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. However, after investigating Henry Boot (LON:BOOT), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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. The formula for this calculation on Henry Boot is:

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

0.087 = UK£32m ÷ (UK£453m - UK£87m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

Thus, Henry Boot has an ROCE of 8.7%. On its own that's a low return, but compared to the average of 6.7% generated by the Consumer Durables industry, it's much better.

View our latest analysis for Henry Boot

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In the above chart we have measured Henry Boot's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Henry Boot.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

In terms of Henry Boot's historical ROCE trend, it doesn't exactly demand attention. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 8.7% and the business has deployed 46% more capital into its operations. This poor ROCE doesn't inspire confidence right now, and with the increase in capital employed, it's evident that the business isn't deploying the funds into high return investments.

On a side note, Henry Boot has done well to reduce current liabilities to 19% of total assets over the last five years. Effectively suppliers now fund less of the business, which can lower some elements of risk.

The Bottom Line On Henry Boot's ROCE

In conclusion, Henry Boot has been investing more capital into the business, but returns on that capital haven't increased. Although the market must be expecting these trends to improve because the stock has gained 52% over the last five years. But if the trajectory of these underlying trends continue, we think the likelihood of it being a multi-bagger from here isn't high.

On a separate note, we've found 1 warning sign for Henry Boot you'll probably want to know about.

While Henry Boot 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.