There are a few key trends to look for if we want to identify the next multi-bagger. Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base 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. Speaking of which, we noticed some great changes in S4 Capital's (LON:SFOR) returns on capital, so let's have a look.
Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)
For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. To calculate this metric for S4 Capital, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.022 = UK£29m ÷ (UK£1.8b - UK£501m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
Thus, S4 Capital has an ROCE of 2.2%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Media industry average of 12%.
In the above chart we have measured S4 Capital's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering S4 Capital here for free.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
We're glad to see that ROCE is heading in the right direction, even if it is still low at the moment. Over the last three years, returns on capital employed have risen substantially to 2.2%. The amount of capital employed has increased too, by 161%. This can indicate that there's plenty of opportunities to invest capital internally and at ever higher rates, a combination that's common among multi-baggers.
What We Can Learn From S4 Capital's ROCE
In summary, it's great to see that S4 Capital can compound returns by consistently reinvesting capital at increasing rates of return, because these are some of the key ingredients of those highly sought after multi-baggers. Considering the stock has delivered 13% to its stockholders over the last three years, it may be fair to think that investors aren't fully aware of the promising trends yet. Given that, we'd look further into this stock in case it has more traits that could make it multiply in the long term.
On a final note, we found 2 warning signs for S4 Capital (1 shouldn't be ignored) you should be aware of.
While S4 Capital 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.
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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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