If you’re not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should keep an eye out for. 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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. So on that note, China Oriental Group (HKG:581) looks quite promising in regards to its trends of return on capital.
What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
Just to clarify if you’re unsure, ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for China Oriental Group:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)
0.15 = CN¥3.3b ÷ (CN¥35b – CN¥14b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019).
Therefore, China Oriental Group has an ROCE of 15%. In absolute terms, that’s a satisfactory return, but compared to the Metals and Mining industry average of 6.9% it’s much better.
In the above chart we have measured China Oriental Group’s prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you’d like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering China Oriental Group here for free.
What Can We Tell From China Oriental Group’s ROCE Trend?
Investors would be pleased with what’s happening at China Oriental Group. Over the last five years, returns on capital employed have risen substantially to 15%. The company is effectively making more money per dollar of capital used, and it’s worth noting that the amount of capital has increased too, by 85%. This can indicate that there’s plenty of opportunities to invest capital internally and at ever higher rates, a combination that’s common among multi-baggers.In another part of our analysis, we noticed that the company’s ratio of current liabilities to total assets decreased to 39%, which broadly means the business is relying less on its suppliers or short-term creditors to fund its operations. Therefore we can rest assured that the growth in ROCE is a result of the business’ fundamental improvements, rather than a cooking class featuring this company’s books.
Our Take On China Oriental Group’s ROCE
In summary, it’s great to see that China Oriental Group can compound returns by consistently reinvesting capital at increasing rates of return, because these are some of the key ingredients of those highly sought after multi-baggers. Given the stock has declined 43% in the last three years, this could be a good investment if the valuation and other metrics are also appealing. So researching this company further and determining whether or not these trends will continue seems justified.
If you’d like to know more about China Oriental Group, we’ve spotted 4 warning signs, and 2 of them shouldn’t be ignored.
While China Oriental 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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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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