Cielo (BVMF:CIEL3) Could Be Struggling To Allocate Capital

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 20, 2021
BOVESPA:CIEL3
Source: Shutterstock

If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. However, after investigating Cielo (BVMF:CIEL3), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

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 Cielo:

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

0.047 = R$1.3b ÷ (R$92b - R$65b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

So, Cielo has an ROCE of 4.7%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the IT industry average of 8.8%.

See our latest analysis for Cielo

roce
BOVESPA:CIEL3 Return on Capital Employed September 21st 2021

In the above chart we have measured Cielo'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 Cielo here for free.

How Are Returns Trending?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Cielo, we didn't gain much confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 22%, but since then they've fallen to 4.7%. On the other hand, the company has been employing more capital without a corresponding improvement in sales in the last year, which could suggest these investments are longer term plays. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

On a side note, Cielo's current liabilities have increased over the last five years to 70% of total assets, effectively distorting the ROCE to some degree. If current liabilities hadn't increased as much as they did, the ROCE could actually be even lower. And with current liabilities at these levels, suppliers or short-term creditors are effectively funding a large part of the business, which can introduce some risks.

What We Can Learn From Cielo's ROCE

To conclude, we've found that Cielo is reinvesting in the business, but returns have been falling. And investors may be expecting the fundamentals to get a lot worse because the stock has crashed 89% over the last five years. 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.

One final note, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Cielo (including 1 which shouldn't be ignored) .

While Cielo 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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