Stock Analysis

Thomson Reuters (TSE:TRI) Is Looking To Continue Growing Its Returns On Capital

TSX:TRI
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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look 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. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. With that in mind, we've noticed some promising trends at Thomson Reuters (TSE:TRI) so let's look a bit deeper.

Understanding 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Thomson Reuters:

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

0.11 = US$1.8b ÷ (US$21b - US$3.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2023).

Thus, Thomson Reuters has an ROCE of 11%. In absolute terms, that's a pretty normal return, and it's somewhat close to the Professional Services industry average of 12%.

Check out our latest analysis for Thomson Reuters

roce
TSX:TRI Return on Capital Employed May 31st 2023

In the above chart we have measured Thomson Reuters' 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.

SWOT Analysis for Thomson Reuters

Strength
  • Debt is not viewed as a risk.
  • Dividends are covered by earnings and cash flows.
Weakness
  • Earnings declined over the past year.
  • Dividend is low compared to the top 25% of dividend payers in the Professional Services market.
Opportunity
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow for the next 3 years.
  • Good value based on P/E ratio compared to estimated Fair P/E ratio.
Threat
  • Annual earnings are forecast to grow slower than the Canadian market.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

Thomson Reuters is showing promise given that its ROCE is trending up and to the right. Looking at the data, we can see that even though capital employed in the business has remained relatively flat, the ROCE generated has risen by 123% over the last five years. Basically the business is generating higher returns from the same amount of capital and that is proof that there are improvements in the company's efficiencies. The company is doing well in that sense, and it's worth investigating what the management team has planned for long term growth prospects.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, Thomson Reuters is collecting higher returns from the same amount of capital, and that's impressive. And with the stock having performed exceptionally well over the last five years, these patterns are being accounted for by investors. With that being said, we still think the promising fundamentals mean the company deserves some further due diligence.

If you'd like to know about the risks facing Thomson Reuters, we've discovered 2 warning signs that you should be aware of.

While Thomson Reuters isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Thomson Reuters is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.