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Sally Beauty Holdings (NYSE:SBH) Might Be Having Difficulty Using Its Capital Effectively

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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. However, after investigating Sally Beauty Holdings (NYSE:SBH), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

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

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. To calculate this metric for Sally Beauty Holdings, this is the formula:

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

0.16 = US$329m ÷ (US$2.9b - US$875m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

So, Sally Beauty Holdings has an ROCE of 16%. That's a relatively normal return on capital, and it's around the 15% generated by the Specialty Retail industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Sally Beauty Holdings

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In the above chart we have measured Sally Beauty Holdings' prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Sally Beauty Holdings, we didn't gain much confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 16% from 33% five years ago. However it looks like Sally Beauty Holdings 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'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.

In Conclusion...

To conclude, we've found that Sally Beauty Holdings is reinvesting in the business, but returns have been falling. And in the last five years, the stock has given away 25% so the market doesn't look too hopeful on these trends strengthening any time soon. In any case, the stock doesn't have these traits of a multi-bagger discussed above, so if that's what you're looking for, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

If you'd like to know about the risks facing Sally Beauty Holdings, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should be aware of.

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.

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.