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Pilgrim's Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) May Have Issues Allocating Its Capital

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What trends should we look for it we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing amount 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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Pilgrim's Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. The formula for this calculation on Pilgrim's Pride is:

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

0.087 = US$504m ÷ (US$7.5b - US$1.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

So, Pilgrim's Pride has an ROCE of 8.7%. On its own, that's a low figure but it's around the 10% average generated by the Food industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Pilgrim's Pride

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Pilgrim's Pride compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Pilgrim's Pride.

So How Is Pilgrim's Pride's ROCE Trending?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Pilgrim's Pride, we didn't gain much confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 8.7% from 35% five years ago. Meanwhile, the business is utilizing more capital but this hasn't moved the needle much in terms of sales in the past 12 months, so this could reflect longer term investments. It's worth keeping an eye on the company's earnings from here on to see if these investments do end up contributing to the bottom line.

Our Take On Pilgrim's Pride's ROCE

In summary, Pilgrim's Pride is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. Since the stock has declined 13% over the last five years, investors may not be too optimistic on this trend improving either. 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.

Like most companies, Pilgrim's Pride does come with some risks, and we've found 3 warning signs that you should be aware of.

While Pilgrim's Pride isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

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.