Fresenius Medical Care KGaA (ETR:FME) Will Want To Turn Around Its Return Trends

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 15, 2021
XTRA:FME
Source: Shutterstock

Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Fresenius Medical Care KGaA (ETR:FME) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

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. To calculate this metric for Fresenius Medical Care KGaA, this is the formula:

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

0.072 = €1.9b ÷ (€34b - €7.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

So, Fresenius Medical Care KGaA has an ROCE of 7.2%. Even though it's in line with the industry average of 6.9%, it's still a low return by itself.

View our latest analysis for Fresenius Medical Care KGaA

roce
XTRA:FME Return on Capital Employed November 16th 2021

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Fresenius Medical Care KGaA compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Fresenius Medical Care KGaA here for free.

The Trend Of ROCE

In terms of Fresenius Medical Care KGaA's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 12%, but since then they've fallen to 7.2%. 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.

Our Take On Fresenius Medical Care KGaA's ROCE

Bringing it all together, while we're somewhat encouraged by Fresenius Medical Care KGaA's reinvestment in its own business, we're aware that returns are shrinking. Since the stock has declined 14% over the last five years, investors may not be too optimistic on this trend improving either. On the whole, we aren't too inspired by the underlying trends and we think there may be better chances of finding a multi-bagger elsewhere.

On a separate note, we've found 1 warning sign for Fresenius Medical Care KGaA you'll probably want to know about.

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive returns on equity.

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