To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base 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. With that in mind, we've noticed some promising trends at Medion (ETR:MDN) so let's look a bit deeper.
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 Medion is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.093 = €40m ÷ (€807m - €373m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
So, Medion has an ROCE of 9.3%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Retail Distributors industry average of 17%.
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for Medion's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you're interested in investigating Medion's past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What Does the ROCE Trend For Medion Tell Us?
Medion has not disappointed with their ROCE growth. Looking at the data, we can see that even though capital employed in the business has remained relatively flat, the ROCE generated has risen by 35% over the last five years. Basically the business is generating higher returns from the same amount of capital and that is proof that there are improvements in the company's efficiencies. It's worth looking deeper into this though because while it's great that the business is more efficient, it might also mean that going forward the areas to invest internally for the organic growth are lacking.
On a side note, Medion's current liabilities are still rather high at 46% of total assets. This can bring about some risks because the company is basically operating with a rather large reliance on its suppliers or other sorts of short-term creditors. Ideally we'd like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.
What We Can Learn From Medion's ROCE
To sum it up, Medion is collecting higher returns from the same amount of capital, and that's impressive. Considering the stock has delivered 13% to its stockholders over the last five years, it may be fair to think that investors aren't fully aware of the promising trends yet. Given that, we'd look further into this stock in case it has more traits that could make it multiply in the long term.
While Medion looks impressive, no company is worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether MDN is currently trading for a fair price.
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.
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