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What Do The Returns On Capital At AZZ (NYSE:AZZ) Tell Us?

Simply Wall St
·3 min read

If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount 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 investigating AZZ (NYSE:AZZ), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

Understanding 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for AZZ:

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

0.11 = US$91m ÷ (US$1.1b - US$240m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to May 2020).

Thus, AZZ has an ROCE of 11%. In absolute terms, that's a pretty normal return, and it's somewhat close to the Electrical industry average of 9.9%.

See our latest analysis for AZZ

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for AZZ 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 AZZ.

So How Is AZZ's ROCE Trending?

Things have been pretty stable at AZZ, with its capital employed and returns on that capital staying somewhat the same for the last five years. This tells us the company isn't reinvesting in itself, so it's plausible that it's past the growth phase. So don't be surprised if AZZ doesn't end up being a multi-bagger in a few years time.

The Bottom Line On AZZ's ROCE

In summary, AZZ isn't compounding its earnings but is generating stable returns on the same amount of capital employed. And in the last five years, the stock has given away 33% so the market doesn't look too hopeful on these trends strengthening any time soon. In any case, the stock doesn't have these traits of a multi-bagger discussed above, so if that's what you're looking for, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

Like most companies, AZZ does come with some risks, and we've found 2 warning signs that you should be aware of.

For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.

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@simplywallst.com.