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Returns At American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ:AOUT) Are On The Way Up

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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding 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. With that in mind, we've noticed some promising trends at American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ:AOUT) so let's look a bit deeper.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. The formula for this calculation on American Outdoor Brands is:

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

0.077 = US$23m ÷ (US$341m - US$36m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2021).

So, American Outdoor Brands has an ROCE of 7.7%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Leisure industry average of 24%.

See our latest analysis for American Outdoor Brands

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In the above chart we have measured American Outdoor Brands' 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 American Outdoor Brands.

What Does the ROCE Trend For American Outdoor Brands Tell Us?

We're delighted to see that American Outdoor Brands is reaping rewards from its investments and has now broken into profitability. The company now earns 7.7% on its capital, because two years ago it was incurring losses. Interestingly, the capital employed by the business has remained relatively flat, so these higher returns are either from prior investments paying off or increased efficiencies. That being said, while an increase in efficiency is no doubt appealing, it'd be helpful to know if the company does have any investment plans going forward. After all, a company can only become a long term multi-bagger if it continually reinvests in itself at high rates of return.

What We Can Learn From American Outdoor Brands' ROCE

As discussed above, American Outdoor Brands appears to be getting more proficient at generating returns since capital employed has remained flat but earnings (before interest and tax) are up. Since the stock has returned a solid 81% to shareholders over the last year, it's fair to say investors are beginning to recognize these changes. So given the stock has proven it has promising trends, it's worth researching the company further to see if these trends are likely to persist.

American Outdoor Brands does have some risks though, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for American Outdoor Brands that you might be interested in.

While American Outdoor Brands may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.

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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