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OceanaGold (TSE:OGC) Will Be Looking To Turn Around Its Returns

Ignoring the stock price of a company, what are the underlying trends that tell us a business is past the growth phase? A business that's potentially in decline often shows two trends, a return on capital employed (ROCE) that's declining, and a base of capital employed that's also declining. Ultimately this means that the company is earning less per dollar invested and on top of that, it's shrinking its base of capital employed. In light of that, from a first glance at OceanaGold (TSE:OGC), we've spotted some signs that it could be struggling, so let's investigate.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?

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. The formula for this calculation on OceanaGold is:

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

0.007 = US$14m ÷ (US$2.2b - US$186m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

Therefore, OceanaGold has an ROCE of 0.7%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Metals and Mining industry average of 1.9%.

Check out our latest analysis for OceanaGold

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for OceanaGold 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 OceanaGold here for free.

So How Is OceanaGold's ROCE Trending?

In terms of OceanaGold's historical ROCE movements, the trend doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, the ROCE was 9.4% five years ago, but since then it has dropped noticeably. And on the capital employed front, the business is utilizing roughly the same amount of capital as it was back then. Since returns are falling and the business has the same amount of assets employed, this can suggest it's a mature business that hasn't had much growth in the last five years. So because these trends aren't typically conducive to creating a multi-bagger, we wouldn't hold our breath on OceanaGold becoming one if things continue as they have.

What We Can Learn From OceanaGold's ROCE

In the end, the trend of lower returns on the same amount of capital isn't typically an indication that we're looking at a growth stock. It should come as no surprise then that the stock has fallen 34% over the last five years, so it looks like investors are recognizing these changes. Unless there is a shift to a more positive trajectory in these metrics, we would look elsewhere.

If you're still interested in OceanaGold it's worth checking out our FREE intrinsic value approximation to see if it's trading at an attractive price in other respects.

While OceanaGold 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.

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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