Some Investors May Be Worried About MBB's (ETR:MBB) Returns On Capital

Simply Wall St
February 25, 2022
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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? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. Having said that, from a first glance at MBB (ETR:MBB) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

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. The formula for this calculation on MBB is:

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

0.017 = €15m ÷ (€1.1b - €193m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

Thus, MBB has an ROCE of 1.7%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Industrials industry average of 6.5%.

See our latest analysis for MBB

XTRA:MBB Return on Capital Employed February 25th 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for MBB 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 MBB.

The Trend Of ROCE

When we looked at the ROCE trend at MBB, we didn't gain much confidence. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 14% over the last five years. However it looks like MBB might be reinvesting for long term growth because while capital employed has increased, the company's sales haven't changed much in the last 12 months. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

On a side note, MBB has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 17% of total assets. So we could link some of this to the decrease 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 Key Takeaway

In summary, MBB is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. And with the stock having returned a mere 33% in the last five years to shareholders, you could argue that they're aware of these lackluster trends. Therefore, if you're looking for a multi-bagger, we'd propose looking at other options.

If you're still interested in MBB it's worth checking out our FREE intrinsic value approximation to see if it's trading at an attractive price in other respects.

While MBB 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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