Nexans (EPA:NEX) Might Have The Makings Of A Multi-Bagger

By
Simply Wall St
Published
July 24, 2021
ENXTPA:NEX
Source: Shutterstock

If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount 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 Nexans (EPA:NEX) so let's look a bit deeper.

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

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 Nexans is:

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

0.094 = €234m ÷ (€5.2b - €2.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

So, Nexans has an ROCE of 9.4%. On its own, that's a low figure but it's around the 11% average generated by the Electrical industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Nexans

roce
ENXTPA:NEX Return on Capital Employed July 24th 2021

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Nexans 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 Nexans here for free.

What Can We Tell From Nexans' ROCE Trend?

Nexans 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 97% 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. The company is doing well in that sense, and it's worth investigating what the management team has planned for long term growth prospects.

Another thing to note, Nexans has a high ratio of current liabilities to total assets of 52%. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) are funding a large portion of the business, so just be aware that this can introduce some elements of risk. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, it can be beneficial if this ratio is lower.

What We Can Learn From Nexans' ROCE

As discussed above, Nexans appears to be getting more proficient at generating returns since capital employed has remained flat but earnings (before interest and tax) are up. And with a respectable 86% awarded to those who held the stock over the last five years, you could argue that these developments are starting to get the attention they deserve. So given the stock has proven it has promising trends, it's worth researching the company further to see if these trends are likely to persist.

One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Nexans and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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