Returns On Capital Signal Tricky Times Ahead For BT Brands (NASDAQ:BTBD)
If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base 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. Although, when we looked at BT Brands (NASDAQ:BTBD), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.
What Is 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 BT Brands:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.0072 = US$105k ÷ (US$16m - US$1.2m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2022).
Therefore, BT Brands has an ROCE of 0.7%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Hospitality industry average of 11%.
See our latest analysis for BT Brands
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for BT Brands' ROCE against it's prior returns. If you want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of BT Brands, check out these free graphs here.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
When we looked at the ROCE trend at BT Brands, we didn't gain much confidence. Around four years ago the returns on capital were 2.4%, but since then they've fallen to 0.7%. However, given capital employed and revenue have both increased it appears that the business is currently pursuing growth, at the consequence of short term returns. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.
On a related note, BT Brands has decreased its current liabilities to 7.8% of total assets. So we could link some of this to the decrease in ROCE. 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. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money.
Our Take On BT Brands' ROCE
While returns have fallen for BT Brands in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. And there could be an opportunity here if other metrics look good too, because the stock has declined 27% in the last year. As a result, we'd recommend researching this stock further to uncover what other fundamentals of the business can show us.
One more thing, we've spotted 2 warning signs facing BT Brands that you might find interesting.
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.
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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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