Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. So when we looked at the ROCE trend of Atlas Pearls (ASX:ATP) we really liked what we saw.
What is 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. The formula for this calculation on Atlas Pearls is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.35 = AU$8.5m ÷ (AU$31m - AU$7.3m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
Thus, Atlas Pearls has an ROCE of 35%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 11% earned by companies in a similar industry.
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're interested in investigating Atlas Pearls' past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What Does the ROCE Trend For Atlas Pearls Tell Us?
Atlas Pearls has not disappointed with their ROCE growth. More specifically, while the company has kept capital employed relatively flat over the last five years, the ROCE has climbed 436% in that same time. So our take on this is that the business has increased efficiencies to generate these higher returns, all the while not needing to make any additional investments. It's worth looking deeper into this though because while it's great that the business is more efficient, it might also mean that going forward the areas to invest internally for the organic growth are lacking.
Our Take On Atlas Pearls' ROCE
As discussed above, Atlas Pearls appears to be getting more proficient at generating returns since capital employed has remained flat but earnings (before interest and tax) are up. Since the stock has only returned 18% to shareholders over the last five years, the promising fundamentals may not be recognized yet by investors. Given that, we'd look further into this stock in case it has more traits that could make it multiply in the long term.
One more thing: We've identified 3 warning signs with Atlas Pearls (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding them would certainly be useful.
If you want to search for more stocks that have been earning high returns, check out this free list of stocks with solid balance sheets that are also earning high returns on equity.
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Atlas Pearls Limited produces and supplies south sea pearls in Australia, Indonesia, and internationally.
The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.
|Analysis Area||Score (0-6)|
Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.
Flawless balance sheet and good value.