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Returns On Capital At Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) Paint A Concerning Picture

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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'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. Having said that, from a first glance at Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Consolidated Edison:

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

0.044 = US$2.5b ÷ (US$63b - US$5.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

So, Consolidated Edison has an ROCE of 4.4%. In absolute terms, that's a low return but it's around the Integrated Utilities industry average of 4.6%.

View our latest analysis for Consolidated Edison

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In the above chart we have measured Consolidated Edison's 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 Consolidated Edison.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Consolidated Edison Tell Us?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Consolidated Edison doesn't inspire confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 4.4% from 5.5% five years ago. Meanwhile, the business is utilizing more capital but this hasn't moved the needle much in terms of sales in the past 12 months, so this could reflect longer term investments. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

Our Take On Consolidated Edison's ROCE

In summary, Consolidated Edison is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. And investors may be recognizing these trends since the stock has only returned a total of 21% to shareholders over the last five years. As a result, if you're hunting for a multi-bagger, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

Consolidated Edison does come with some risks though, we found 4 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those can't be ignored...

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. 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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