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Are Investors Overlooking Returns On Capital At Vipshop Holdings (NYSE:VIPS)?

Simply Wall St
·3 mins read

Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's 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. So, when we ran our eye over Vipshop Holdings' (NYSE:VIPS) trend of ROCE, we really liked what we saw.

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

For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. The formula for this calculation on Vipshop Holdings is:

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

0.20 = CN¥5.8b ÷ (CN¥50b - CN¥22b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

Thus, Vipshop Holdings has an ROCE of 20%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 9.4% earned by companies in a similar industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Vipshop Holdings

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Vipshop Holdings 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 Vipshop Holdings.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Vipshop Holdings Tell Us?

In terms of Vipshop Holdings' history of ROCE, it's quite impressive. The company has employed 272% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 20%. Returns like this are the envy of most businesses and given it has repeatedly reinvested at these rates, that's even better. If Vipshop Holdings can keep this up, we'd be very optimistic about its future.

On a side note, Vipshop Holdings has done well to reduce current liabilities to 43% of total assets over the last five years. This can eliminate some of the risks inherent in the operations because the business has less outstanding obligations to their suppliers and or short-term creditors than they did previously. We'd like to see this trend continue though because as it stands today, thats still a pretty high level.

In Conclusion...

In the end, the company has proven it can reinvest it's capital at high rates of returns, which you'll remember is a trait of a multi-bagger. However, despite the favorable fundamentals, the stock has fallen 18% over the last five years, so there might be an opportunity here for astute investors. For that reason, savvy investors might want to look further into this company in case it's a prime investment.

One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing Vipshop Holdings that you might find interesting.

High returns are a key ingredient to strong performance, so check out our free list ofstocks 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@simplywallst.com.