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The Trends At Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) That You Should Know About

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

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 Barratt Developments, this is the formula:

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

0.11 = UK£588m ÷ (UK£6.9b - UK£1.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

So, Barratt Developments has an ROCE of 11%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Consumer Durables industry average of 6.7% it's much better.

See our latest analysis for Barratt Developments

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Barratt Developments compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Can We Tell From Barratt Developments' ROCE Trend?

Over the past five years, Barratt Developments' ROCE and capital employed have both remained mostly flat. This tells us the company isn't reinvesting in itself, so it's plausible that it's past the growth phase. So unless we see a substantial change at Barratt Developments in terms of ROCE and additional investments being made, we wouldn't hold our breath on it being a multi-bagger. This probably explains why Barratt Developments is paying out 51% of its income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Unless businesses have highly compelling growth opportunities, they'll typically return some money to shareholders.

In Conclusion...

In a nutshell, Barratt Developments has been trudging along with the same returns from the same amount of capital over the last five years. Since the stock has gained an impressive 68% over the last five years, investors must think there's better things to come. However, unless these underlying trends turn more positive, we wouldn't get our hopes up too high.

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

While Barratt Developments isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

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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