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To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. With that in mind, the ROCE of North West (TSE:NWC) looks great, so lets see what the trend can tell us.
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. To calculate this metric for North West, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.23 = CA$228m ÷ (CA$1.2b - CA$230m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2021).
Therefore, North West has an ROCE of 23%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 11% earned by companies in a similar industry.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for North West compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering North West here for free.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
Investors would be pleased with what's happening at North West. Over the last five years, returns on capital employed have risen substantially to 23%. The amount of capital employed has increased too, by 49%. This can indicate that there's plenty of opportunities to invest capital internally and at ever higher rates, a combination that's common among multi-baggers.
What We Can Learn From North West's ROCE
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 North West has. Since the stock has returned a solid 71% to shareholders over the last five years, it's fair to say investors are beginning to recognize these changes. Therefore, we think it would be worth your time to check if these trends are going to continue.
If you'd like to know about the risks facing North West, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should be aware of.
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. 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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