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There Are Reasons To Feel Uneasy About Van Elle Holdings' (LON:VANL) Returns On Capital

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If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Van Elle Holdings (LON:VANL) 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)?

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 Van Elle Holdings, this is the formula:

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

0.028 = UK£1.6m ÷ (UK£86m - UK£31m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2021).

So, Van Elle Holdings has an ROCE of 2.8%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Construction industry average of 8.9%.

View our latest analysis for Van Elle Holdings

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Van Elle Holdings 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 Van Elle Holdings.

What Can We Tell From Van Elle Holdings' ROCE Trend?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Van Elle Holdings doesn't inspire confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 2.8% from 25% five years ago. However, given capital employed and revenue have both increased it appears that the business is currently pursuing growth, at the consequence of short term returns. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

In Conclusion...

Even though returns on capital have fallen in the short term, we find it promising that revenue and capital employed have both increased for Van Elle Holdings. And there could be an opportunity here if other metrics look good too, because the stock has declined 47% in the last five years. As a result, we'd recommend researching this stock further to uncover what other fundamentals of the business can show us.

One more thing to note, we've identified 2 warning signs with Van Elle Holdings and understanding these should be part of your investment process.

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.