Be Wary Of Fielmann (ETR:FIE) And Its Returns On Capital

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 17, 2021
XTRA:FIE
Source: Shutterstock

If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing amount 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 investigating Fielmann (ETR:FIE), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

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

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. The formula for this calculation on Fielmann is:

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

0.16 = €216m ÷ (€1.7b - €369m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

Therefore, Fielmann has an ROCE of 16%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 9.5% generated by the Specialty Retail industry.

See our latest analysis for Fielmann

roce
XTRA:FIE Return on Capital Employed December 17th 2021

In the above chart we have measured Fielmann's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Fielmann here for free.

How Are Returns Trending?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Fielmann doesn't inspire confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 16% from 35% five years ago. However, given capital employed and revenue have both increased it appears that the business is currently pursuing growth, at the consequence of short term returns. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

The Key Takeaway

While returns have fallen for Fielmann in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. These trends are starting to be recognized by investors since the stock has delivered a 6.0% gain to shareholders who've held over the last five years. Therefore we'd recommend looking further into this stock to confirm if it has the makings of a good investment.

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

While Fielmann 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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