If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. 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. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. That's why when we briefly looked at Kingfisher's (LON:KGF) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.
Understanding 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Kingfisher:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.12 = UK£1.1b ÷ (UK£12b - UK£3.1b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2022).
Therefore, Kingfisher has an ROCE of 12%. In absolute terms, that's a pretty normal return, and it's somewhat close to the Specialty Retail industry average of 14%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Kingfisher compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Kingfisher.
How Are Returns Trending?
While the returns on capital are good, they haven't moved much. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 12% and the business has deployed 23% more capital into its operations. 12% is a pretty standard return, and it provides some comfort knowing that Kingfisher has consistently earned this amount. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.
What We Can Learn From Kingfisher's ROCE
To sum it up, Kingfisher has simply been reinvesting capital steadily, at those decent rates of return. However, over the last five years, the stock hasn't provided much growth to shareholders in the way of total returns. That's why we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the fundamentals are appealing.
Kingfisher does have some risks, we noticed 2 warning signs (and 1 which is concerning) we think you should know about.
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.