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Can Iofina (LON:IOF) Continue To Grow Its Returns On Capital?

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. With that in mind, we've noticed some promising trends at Iofina (LON:IOF) so let's look a bit deeper.

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Iofina:

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

0.17 = US$3.7m ÷ (US$43m - US$22m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

Therefore, Iofina has an ROCE of 17%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 11% generated by the Chemicals industry.

View our latest analysis for Iofina

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In the above chart we have measured Iofina's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Iofina here for free.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

Like most people, we're pleased that Iofina is now generating some pretax earnings. While the business is profitable now, it used to be incurring losses on invested capital five years ago. At first glance, it seems the business is getting more proficient at generating returns, because over the same period, the amount of capital employed has reduced by 49%. This could potentially mean that the company is selling some of its assets.

For the record though, there was a noticeable increase in the company's current liabilities over the period, so we would attribute some of the ROCE growth to that. Effectively this means that suppliers or short-term creditors are now funding 50% of the business, which is more than it was five years ago. Given it's pretty high ratio, we'd remind investors that having current liabilities at those levels can bring about some risks in certain businesses.

What We Can Learn From Iofina's ROCE

In the end, Iofina has proven it's capital allocation skills are good with those higher returns from less amount of capital. Since the stock has returned a solid 79% to shareholders over the last five years, it's fair to say investors are beginning to recognize these changes. In light of that, we think it's worth looking further into this stock because if Iofina can keep these trends up, it could have a bright future ahead.

Iofina does come with some risks though, we found 2 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those is a bit unpleasant...

While Iofina 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. 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.