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Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. 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. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. So on that note, Renewi (LON:RWI) looks quite promising in regards to its trends of return on capital.
What Is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Renewi:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.10 = €127m ÷ (€2.0b - €733m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
Thus, Renewi has an ROCE of 10%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Commercial Services industry average of 8.6% it's much better.
In the above chart we have measured Renewi's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
The Trend Of ROCE
Renewi has not disappointed with their ROCE growth. Looking at the data, we can see that even though capital employed in the business has remained relatively flat, the ROCE generated has risen by 294% over the last five years. So it's likely that the business is now reaping the full benefits of its past investments, since the capital employed hasn't changed considerably. The company is doing well in that sense, and it's worth investigating what the management team has planned for long term growth prospects.
On a side note, we noticed that the improvement in ROCE appears to be partly fueled by an increase in current liabilities. The current liabilities has increased to 38% of total assets, so the business is now more funded by the likes of its suppliers or short-term creditors. Keep an eye out for future increases because when the ratio of current liabilities to total assets gets particularly high, this can introduce some new risks for the business.
The Key Takeaway
To bring it all together, Renewi has done well to increase the returns it's generating from its capital employed. Since the total return from the stock has been almost flat over the last five years, there might be an opportunity here if the valuation looks good. That being the case, research into the company's current valuation metrics and future prospects seems fitting.
On a final note, we've found 1 warning sign for Renewi that we think you should be aware of.
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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