Returns On Capital Signal Tricky Times Ahead For Össur hf (CPH:OSSR)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 16, 2021
CPSE:OSSR
Source: Shutterstock

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. 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. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. Although, when we looked at Össur hf (CPH:OSSR), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.

What is 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. The formula for this calculation on Össur hf is:

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

0.082 = US$91m ÷ (US$1.3b - US$154m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

So, Össur hf has an ROCE of 8.2%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Medical Equipment industry average of 22%.

Check out our latest analysis for Össur hf

roce
CPSE:OSSR Return on Capital Employed October 17th 2021

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Össur hf compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. 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 Össur hf Tell Us?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Össur hf, we didn't gain much confidence. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 12% over the last five years. 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's worth keeping an eye on the company's earnings from here on to see if these investments do end up contributing to the bottom line.

What We Can Learn From Össur hf's ROCE

In summary, Össur hf is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. Although the market must be expecting these trends to improve because the stock has gained 73% over the last five years. Ultimately, if the underlying trends persist, we wouldn't hold our breath on it being a multi-bagger going forward.

One more thing to note, we've identified 2 warning signs with Össur hf and understanding these should be part of your investment process.

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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