What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? Firstly, we’d want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base 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. In light of that, when we looked at Costamp Group (BIT:MOLD) and its ROCE trend, we weren’t exactly thrilled.
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 Costamp Group, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)
0.028 = €1.3m ÷ (€91m – €44m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019).
Thus, Costamp Group has an ROCE of 2.8%. In absolute terms, that’s a low return and it also under-performs the Machinery industry average of 4.2%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Costamp Group 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 Costamp Group’s ROCE Trend?
In terms of Costamp Group’s historical ROCE movements, the trend isn’t fantastic. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 9.3% over the last four years. However it looks like Costamp Group 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 may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.Another thing to note, Costamp Group has a high ratio of current liabilities to total assets of 49%. This can bring about some risks because the company is basically operating with a rather large reliance on its suppliers or other sorts of short-term creditors. Ideally we’d like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.
The Bottom Line On Costamp Group’s ROCE
Bringing it all together, while we’re somewhat encouraged by Costamp Group’s reinvestment in its own business, we’re aware that returns are shrinking. And in the last year, the stock has given away 28% 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.
Since virtually every company faces some risks, it’s worth knowing what they are, and we’ve spotted 4 warning signs for Costamp Group (of which 1 doesn’t sit too well with us!) that you should know about.
While Costamp Group 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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