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Here's What To Make Of Ardagh Group's (NYSE:ARD) Returns On Capital

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. However, after investigating Ardagh Group (NYSE:ARD), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

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

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 Ardagh Group, this is the formula:

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

0.061 = US$467m ÷ (US$9.7b - US$2.0b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

Thus, Ardagh Group has an ROCE of 6.1%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Packaging industry average of 10%.

Check out our latest analysis for Ardagh Group

roce
roce

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Ardagh 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 Ardagh Group here for free.

The Trend Of ROCE

In terms of Ardagh Group's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 6.1% from 9.0% five years ago. On the other hand, the company has been employing more capital without a corresponding improvement in sales in the last year, which could suggest these investments are longer term plays. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

What We Can Learn From Ardagh Group's ROCE

In summary, Ardagh Group is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. Although the market must be expecting these trends to improve because the stock has gained 44% over the last three years. Ultimately, if the underlying trends persist, we wouldn't hold our breath on it being a multi-bagger going forward.

One final note, you should learn about the 5 warning signs we've spotted with Ardagh Group (including 2 which are a bit unpleasant) .

For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.

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.

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