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If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing amount of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. And in light of that, the trends we're seeing at Zimplats Holdings' (ASX:ZIM) look very promising so lets take a look.
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. The formula for this calculation on Zimplats Holdings is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.35 = US$619m ÷ (US$2.0b - US$199m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
Thus, Zimplats Holdings has an ROCE of 35%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Metals and Mining industry average of 11%.
While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of Zimplats Holdings, check out these free graphs here.
How Are Returns Trending?
Zimplats Holdings has recently broken into profitability so their prior investments seem to be paying off. About five years ago the company was generating losses but things have turned around because it's now earning 35% on its capital. Not only that, but the company is utilizing 50% more capital than before, but that's to be expected from a company trying to break into profitability. This can tell us that the company has plenty of reinvestment opportunities that are able to generate higher returns.
What We Can Learn From Zimplats Holdings' ROCE
In summary, it's great to see that Zimplats Holdings has managed to break into profitability and is continuing to reinvest in its business. Since the stock has returned a staggering 590% to shareholders over the last five years, it looks like investors are recognizing these changes. Therefore, we think it would be worth your time to check if these trends are going to continue.
Zimplats Holdings does have some risks though, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Zimplats Holdings that you might be interested in.
If you'd like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets 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.
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