Enel Generación Chile (SNSE:ENELGXCH) Could Be At Risk Of Shrinking As A Company

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 21, 2022
SNSE:ENELGXCH
Source: Shutterstock

If you're looking at a mature business that's past the growth phase, what are some of the underlying trends that pop up? A business that's potentially in decline often shows two trends, a return on capital employed (ROCE) that's declining, and a base of capital employed that's also declining. This reveals that the company isn't compounding shareholder wealth because returns are falling and its net asset base is shrinking. So after we looked into Enel Generación Chile (SNSE:ENELGXCH), the trends above didn't look too great.

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

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Enel Generación Chile:

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

0.10 = CL$273b ÷ (CL$3.2t - CL$598b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

Therefore, Enel Generación Chile has an ROCE of 10%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 6.4% generated by the Renewable Energy industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Enel Generación Chile

roce
SNSE:ENELGXCH Return on Capital Employed February 21st 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Enel Generación Chile compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Enel Generación Chile.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

There is reason to be cautious about Enel Generación Chile, given the returns are trending downwards. Unfortunately the returns on capital have diminished from the 18% that they were earning five years ago. Meanwhile, capital employed in the business has stayed roughly the flat over the period. This combination can be indicative of a mature business that still has areas to deploy capital, but the returns received aren't as high due potentially to new competition or smaller margins. If these trends continue, we wouldn't expect Enel Generación Chile to turn into a multi-bagger.

In Conclusion...

All in all, the lower returns from the same amount of capital employed aren't exactly signs of a compounding machine. Long term shareholders who've owned the stock over the last five years have experienced a 51% depreciation in their investment, so it appears the market might not like these trends either. With underlying trends that aren't great in these areas, we'd consider looking elsewhere.

If you want to continue researching Enel Generación Chile, you might be interested to know about the 1 warning sign that our analysis has discovered.

While Enel Generación Chile 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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