If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? 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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. With that in mind, the ROCE of National Research (NASDAQ:NRC) looks great, so lets see what the trend can tell us.
Understanding 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 National Research is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.40 = US$44m ÷ (US$147m - US$37m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).
So, National Research has an ROCE of 40%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 11% earned by companies in a similar industry.
While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of National Research, check out these free graphs here.
So How Is National Research's ROCE Trending?
National Research is displaying some positive trends. The data shows that returns on capital have increased substantially over the last five years to 40%. The amount of capital employed has increased too, by 28%. The increasing returns on a growing amount of capital is common amongst multi-baggers and that's why we're impressed.
The Bottom Line
A company that is growing its returns on capital and can consistently reinvest in itself is a highly sought after trait, and that's what National Research has. And a remarkable 296% total return over the last five years tells us that investors are expecting more good things to come in the future. With that being said, we still think the promising fundamentals mean the company deserves some further due diligence.
Like most companies, National Research does come with some risks, and we've found 2 warning signs that you should be aware of.
If you want to search for more stocks that have been earning high returns, check out this free list of stocks with solid balance sheets that are also earning 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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