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The Returns On Capital At Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) Don't Inspire Confidence

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Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base 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. Having said that, from a first glance at Reliance Worldwide (ASX:RWC) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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 Reliance Worldwide is:

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

0.12 = AU$227m ÷ (AU$2.1b - AU$223m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

So, Reliance Worldwide has an ROCE of 12%. That's a relatively normal return on capital, and it's around the 10% generated by the Building industry.

View our latest analysis for Reliance Worldwide

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Reliance Worldwide compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

So How Is Reliance Worldwide's ROCE Trending?

In terms of Reliance Worldwide's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 22%, but since then they've fallen to 12%. However it looks like Reliance Worldwide might be reinvesting for long term growth because while capital employed has increased, the company's sales haven't changed much in the last 12 months. It's worth keeping an eye on the company's earnings from here on to see if these investments do end up contributing to the bottom line.

In Conclusion...

Bringing it all together, while we're somewhat encouraged by Reliance Worldwide's reinvestment in its own business, we're aware that returns are shrinking. Since the stock has gained an impressive 94% over the last five years, investors must think there's better things to come. But if the trajectory of these underlying trends continue, we think the likelihood of it being a multi-bagger from here isn't high.

While Reliance Worldwide doesn't shine too bright in this respect, it's still worth seeing if the company is trading at attractive prices. You can find that out with our FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform.

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive 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 (at) simplywallst.com.