Here's What To Make Of Clever Global's (BME:CLE) Returns On Capital

March 10, 2021
  •  Updated
December 01, 2022
BME:CLE
Source: Shutterstock

What trends should we look for it we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. Although, when we looked at Clever Global (BME:CLE), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

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 Clever Global is:

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

0.02 = €232k ÷ (€16m - €4.5m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

Therefore, Clever Global has an ROCE of 2.0%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the IT industry average of 13%.

Check out our latest analysis for Clever Global

roce
BME:CLE Return on Capital Employed March 11th 2021

While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you're interested in investigating Clever Global's past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

The Trend Of ROCE

Unfortunately, the trend isn't great with ROCE falling from 19% five years ago, while capital employed has grown 154%. That being said, Clever Global raised some capital prior to their latest results being released, so that could partly explain the increase in capital employed. It's unlikely that all of the funds raised have been put to work yet, so as a consequence Clever Global might not have received a full period of earnings contribution from it.

The Bottom Line On Clever Global's ROCE

From the above analysis, we find it rather worrisome that returns on capital and sales for Clever Global have fallen, meanwhile the business is employing more capital than it was five years ago. Investors haven't taken kindly to these developments, since the stock has declined 69% from where it was three years ago. Unless there is a shift to a more positive trajectory in these metrics, we would look elsewhere.

One more thing: We've identified 4 warning signs with Clever Global (at least 3 which are concerning) , and understanding these would certainly be useful.

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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