What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could 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. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. That's why when we briefly looked at Utah Medical Products' (NASDAQ:UTMD) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.
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. To calculate this metric for Utah Medical Products, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.18 = US$20m ÷ (US$116m - US$4.4m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
Therefore, Utah Medical Products has an ROCE of 18%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 9.3% generated by the Medical Equipment industry.
While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you're interested in investigating Utah Medical Products' past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
The Trend Of ROCE
The trend of ROCE doesn't stand out much, but returns on a whole are decent. The company has employed 37% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 18%. Since 18% is a moderate ROCE though, it's good to see a business can continue to reinvest at these decent rates of return. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.
The Key Takeaway
The main thing to remember is that Utah Medical Products has proven its ability to continually reinvest at respectable rates of return. And given the stock has only risen 25% over the last five years, we'd suspect the market is beginning to recognize these trends. That's why it could be worth your time looking into this stock further to discover if it has more traits of a multi-bagger.
If you're still interested in Utah Medical Products it's worth checking out our FREE intrinsic value approximation to see if it's trading at an attractive price in other respects.
While Utah Medical Products isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here