To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. In light of that, when we looked at OraSure Technologies (NASDAQ:OSUR) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.
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. The formula for this calculation on OraSure Technologies is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.088 = US$36m ÷ (US$459m - US$55m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2023).
So, OraSure Technologies has an ROCE of 8.8%. On its own that's a low return on capital but it's in line with the industry's average returns of 9.1%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for OraSure Technologies 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.
How Are Returns Trending?
In terms of OraSure Technologies' historical ROCE trend, it doesn't exactly demand attention. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 8.8% and the business has deployed 53% more capital into its operations. This poor ROCE doesn't inspire confidence right now, and with the increase in capital employed, it's evident that the business isn't deploying the funds into high return investments.
The Bottom Line
As we've seen above, OraSure Technologies' returns on capital haven't increased but it is reinvesting in the business. And investors appear hesitant that the trends will pick up because the stock has fallen 69% in the last five years. On the whole, we aren't too inspired by the underlying trends and we think there may be better chances of finding a multi-bagger elsewhere.
One more thing, we've spotted 2 warning signs facing OraSure Technologies that you might find interesting.
While OraSure Technologies 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.
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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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