Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing 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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Mohawk Industries (NYSE:MHK) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.
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 Mohawk Industries is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.082 = US$929m ÷ (US$14b - US$3.0b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2021).
So, Mohawk Industries has an ROCE of 8.2%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Consumer Durables industry average of 15%.
In the above chart we have measured Mohawk Industries' 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 Mohawk Industries.
The Trend Of ROCE
In terms of Mohawk Industries' historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 16%, but since then they've fallen to 8.2%. However it looks like Mohawk Industries 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 may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.
On a side note, Mohawk Industries has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 21% of total assets. That could partly explain why the ROCE has dropped. What's more, this can reduce some aspects of risk to the business because now the company's suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of its operations. Since the business is basically funding more of its operations with it's own money, you could argue this has made the business less efficient at generating ROCE.
The Key Takeaway
In summary, Mohawk Industries is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. Additionally, the stock's total return to shareholders over the last five years has been flat, which isn't too surprising. Therefore based on the analysis done in this article, we don't think Mohawk Industries has the makings of a multi-bagger.
One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Mohawk Industries and understanding this should be part of your investment process.
While Mohawk Industries 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. 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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