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Investors Met With Slowing Returns on Capital At TFI International (TSE:TFII)

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If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. So, when we ran our eye over TFI International's (TSE:TFII) trend of ROCE, we liked what we saw.

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for TFI International:

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

0.11 = US$476m ÷ (US$5.5b - US$1.3b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

So, TFI International has an ROCE of 11%. That's a pretty standard return and it's in line with the industry average of 11%.

See our latest analysis for TFI International

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In the above chart we have measured TFI International's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Does the ROCE Trend For TFI International Tell Us?

While the current returns on capital are decent, they haven't changed much. The company has consistently earned 11% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 118% in that time. 11% is a pretty standard return, and it provides some comfort knowing that TFI International has consistently earned this amount. Stable returns in this ballpark can be unexciting, but if they can be maintained over the long run, they often provide nice rewards to shareholders.

In Conclusion...

The main thing to remember is that TFI International has proven its ability to continually reinvest at respectable rates of return. And long term investors would be thrilled with the 488% return they've received 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.

TFI International does have some risks though, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for TFI International that you might be interested in.

While TFI International may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list 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.