To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount 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 Owens & Minor (NYSE:OMI), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.
What Is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. The formula for this calculation on Owens & Minor is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.023 = US$82m ÷ (US$5.3b - US$1.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2023).
So, Owens & Minor has an ROCE of 2.3%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Healthcare industry average of 9.7%.
In the above chart we have measured Owens & Minor'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 Owens & Minor.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Owens & Minor doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 5.5% over the last five years. 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'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.
The Bottom Line
In summary, Owens & Minor is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. Unsurprisingly, the stock has only gained 33% over the last five years, which potentially indicates that investors are accounting for this going forward. As a result, if you're hunting for a multi-bagger, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.
One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Owens & Minor and understanding this should be part of your investment process.
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.
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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.