There are a few key trends to look for if we want to identify the next multi-bagger. 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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Estia Health (ASX:EHE) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
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 Estia Health, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.096 = AU$87m ÷ (AU$1.9b - AU$960m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
Therefore, Estia Health has an ROCE of 9.6%. In absolute terms, that's a low return, but it's much better than the Healthcare industry average of 7.8%.
In the above chart we have measured Estia Health's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
There are better returns on capital out there than what we're seeing at Estia Health. The company has employed 57% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 9.6%. Given the company has increased the amount of capital employed, it appears the investments that have been made simply don't provide a high return on capital.Another thing to note, Estia Health has a high ratio of current liabilities to total assets of 51%. 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. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, it can be beneficial if this ratio is lower.
What We Can Learn From Estia Health's ROCE
In summary, Estia Health has simply been reinvesting capital and generating the same low rate of return as before. And investors may be expecting the fundamentals to get a lot worse because the stock has crashed 77% over the last five years. All in all, the inherent trends aren't typical of multi-baggers, so if that's what you're after, we think you might have more luck elsewhere.
If you're still interested in Estia Health it's worth checking out our FREE intrinsic value approximation to see if it's trading at an attractive price in other respects.
While Estia Health isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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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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