There are a few key trends to look for if we want to identify the next multi-bagger. Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing 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. And in light of that, the trends we're seeing at Mosaic's (NYSE:MOS) look very promising so lets take a look.
What Is 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 Mosaic:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.25 = US$4.7b ÷ (US$24b - US$5.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
So, Mosaic has an ROCE of 25%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 12% earned by companies in a similar industry.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Mosaic compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
Mosaic is showing promise given that its ROCE is trending up and to the right. More specifically, while the company has kept capital employed relatively flat over the last five years, the ROCE has climbed 945% in that same time. So it's likely that the business is now reaping the full benefits of its past investments, since the capital employed hasn't changed considerably. The company is doing well in that sense, and it's worth investigating what the management team has planned for long term growth prospects.
On a side note, we noticed that the improvement in ROCE appears to be partly fueled by an increase in current liabilities. Effectively this means that suppliers or short-term creditors are now funding 23% of the business, which is more than it was five years ago. Keep an eye out for future increases because when the ratio of current liabilities to total assets gets particularly high, this can introduce some new risks for the business.
The Bottom Line On Mosaic's ROCE
To sum it up, Mosaic is collecting higher returns from the same amount of capital, and that's impressive. And with the stock having performed exceptionally well over the last five years, these patterns are being accounted for by investors. With that being said, we still think the promising fundamentals mean the company deserves some further due diligence.
One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing Mosaic that you might find interesting.
Mosaic is not the only stock earning high returns. If you'd like to see more, check out our free list of companies earning high returns on equity with solid fundamentals.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
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