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Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) Has Some Way To Go To Become A Multi-Bagger

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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'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. Having said that, from a first glance at Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) 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)?

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. The formula for this calculation on Republic Services is:

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

0.09 = US$1.9b ÷ (US$23b - US$2.1b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

Therefore, Republic Services has an ROCE of 9.0%. In absolute terms, that's a low return, but it's much better than the Commercial Services industry average of 7.4%.

View our latest analysis for Republic Services

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In the above chart we have measured Republic Services' 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.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Republic Services Tell Us?

There hasn't been much to report for Republic Services' returns and its level of capital employed because both metrics have been steady for the past five years. Businesses with these traits tend to be mature and steady operations because they're past the growth phase. With that in mind, unless investment picks up again in the future, we wouldn't expect Republic Services to be a multi-bagger going forward. This probably explains why Republic Services is paying out 42% of its income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Unless businesses have highly compelling growth opportunities, they'll typically return some money to shareholders.

The Bottom Line

We can conclude that in regards to Republic Services' returns on capital employed and the trends, there isn't much change to report on. Yet to long term shareholders the stock has gifted them an incredible 146% return in the last five years, so the market appears to be rosy about its future. But if the trajectory of these underlying trends continue, we think the likelihood of it being a multi-bagger from here isn't high.

If you want to continue researching Republic Services, you might be interested to know about the 2 warning signs that our analysis has discovered.

While Republic Services 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.