If you're not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should 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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Although, when we looked at MBB (ETR:MBB), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.
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 MBB:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.08 = €49m ÷ (€821m - €201m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
Therefore, MBB has an ROCE of 8.0%. In absolute terms, that's a low return, but it's much better than the Industrials industry average of 5.6%.
In the above chart we have measured MBB's 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.
What Does the ROCE Trend For MBB Tell Us?
The returns on capital haven't changed much for MBB in recent years. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 8.0% and the business has deployed 369% more capital into its operations. Given the company has increased the amount of capital employed, it appears the investments that have been made simply don't provide a high return on capital.
The Bottom Line
In summary, MBB has simply been reinvesting capital and generating the same low rate of return as before. Yet to long term shareholders the stock has gifted them an incredible 324% return in the last five years, so the market appears to be rosy about its future. However, unless these underlying trends turn more positive, we wouldn't get our hopes up too high.
One more thing to note, we've identified 3 warning signs with MBB and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.
When trading MBB or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.