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There Are Reasons To Feel Uneasy About Krispy Kreme's (NASDAQ:DNUT) Returns On Capital

What trends should we look for it we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? 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. Having said that, from a first glance at Krispy Kreme (NASDAQ:DNUT) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Krispy Kreme:

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

0.0078 = US$21m ÷ (US$3.2b - US$525m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2023).

Thus, Krispy Kreme has an ROCE of 0.8%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Hospitality industry average of 9.1%.

View our latest analysis for Krispy Kreme

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In the above chart we have measured Krispy Kreme's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Krispy Kreme.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Krispy Kreme Tell Us?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Krispy Kreme doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 2.2% over the last five years. However it looks like Krispy Kreme might be reinvesting for long term growth because while capital employed has increased, the company's sales haven't changed much in the last 12 months. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

The Bottom Line

Bringing it all together, while we're somewhat encouraged by Krispy Kreme's reinvestment in its own business, we're aware that returns are shrinking. And in the last year, the stock has given away 11% so the market doesn't look too hopeful on these trends strengthening any time soon. All in all, the inherent trends aren't typical of multi-baggers, so if that's what you're after, we think you might have more luck elsewhere.

While Krispy Kreme doesn't shine too bright in this respect, it's still worth seeing if the company is trading at attractive prices. You can find that out with our FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform.

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive returns on equity.

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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