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Returns on Capital Paint A Bright Future For Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO)

To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? 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. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. With that in mind, the ROCE of Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) looks great, so lets see what the trend can tell us.

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 Southern Copper is:

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

0.29 = US$4.6b ÷ (US$17b - US$1.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

Thus, Southern Copper has an ROCE of 29%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Metals and Mining industry average of 18%.

View our latest analysis for Southern Copper

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Southern Copper 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 Southern Copper.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

Southern Copper's ROCE growth is quite impressive. Looking at the data, we can see that even though capital employed in the business has remained relatively flat, the ROCE generated has risen by 70% over the last five years. So our take on this is that the business has increased efficiencies to generate these higher returns, all the while not needing to make any additional investments. On that front, things are looking good so it's worth exploring what management has said about growth plans going forward.

In Conclusion...

To bring it all together, Southern Copper has done well to increase the returns it's generating from its capital employed. And investors seem to expect more of this going forward, since the stock has rewarded shareholders with a 96% return over the last five years. 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.

If you want to know some of the risks facing Southern Copper we've found 2 warning signs (1 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you'd like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets here.

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.

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