Stock Analysis

Here's What's Concerning About Fertilizantes Heringer's (BVMF:FHER3) Returns On Capital

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BOVESPA:FHER3
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If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to 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. 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 Fertilizantes Heringer (BVMF:FHER3) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Fertilizantes Heringer:

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

0.14 = R$155m ÷ (R$1.8b - R$692m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

Therefore, Fertilizantes Heringer has an ROCE of 14%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 11% generated by the Chemicals industry.

See our latest analysis for Fertilizantes Heringer

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BOVESPA:FHER3 Return on Capital Employed April 30th 2021

Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for Fertilizantes Heringer's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you'd like to look at how Fertilizantes Heringer has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Fertilizantes Heringer Tell Us?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Fertilizantes Heringer doesn't inspire confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 45%, but since then they've fallen to 14%. Although, given both revenue and the amount of assets employed in the business have increased, it could suggest the company is investing in growth, and the extra capital has led to a short-term reduction in ROCE. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

On a related note, Fertilizantes Heringer has decreased its current liabilities to 38% of total assets. Considering it used to be 90%, that's a huge drop in that ratio and it would explain the decline in ROCE. What's more, this can reduce some aspects of risk to the business because now the company's suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of its operations. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money.

The Bottom Line

While returns have fallen for Fertilizantes Heringer in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. And the stock has done incredibly well with a 576% return over the last five years, so long term investors are no doubt ecstatic with that result. So while the underlying trends could already be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.

One final note, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Fertilizantes Heringer (including 2 which can't be ignored) .

While Fertilizantes Heringer 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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