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The Returns At CorVel (NASDAQ:CRVL) Provide Us With Signs Of What's To Come

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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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. Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's 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. In light of that, when we looked at CorVel (NASDAQ:CRVL) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

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. To calculate this metric for CorVel, this is the formula:

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

0.18 = US$55m ÷ (US$458m - US$159m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

So, CorVel has an ROCE of 18%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Healthcare industry average of 11% it's much better.

Check out our latest analysis for CorVel

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Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for CorVel's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you'd like to look at how CorVel has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Can We Tell From CorVel's ROCE Trend?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at CorVel, we didn't gain much confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 31%, but since then they've fallen to 18%. However it looks like CorVel 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.

The Bottom Line

To conclude, we've found that CorVel is reinvesting in the business, but returns have been falling. Investors must think there's better things to come because the stock has knocked it out of the park, delivering a 168% gain to shareholders who have held over the last five years. However, unless these underlying trends turn more positive, we wouldn't get our hopes up too high.

If you want to continue researching CorVel, you might be interested to know about the 1 warning sign that our analysis has discovered.

While CorVel 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.