What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could 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. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. That's why when we briefly looked at SEB's (EPA:SK) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.
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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for SEB:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.13 = €760m ÷ (€9.1b - €3.4b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
Therefore, SEB has an ROCE of 13%. That's a pretty standard return and it's in line with the industry average of 13%.
In the above chart we have measured SEB's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
The Trend Of ROCE
While the returns on capital are good, they haven't moved much. The company has employed 113% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 13%. 13% is a pretty standard return, and it provides some comfort knowing that SEB has consistently earned this amount. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.
The Key Takeaway
To sum it up, SEB has simply been reinvesting capital steadily, at those decent rates of return. However, over the last five years, the stock has only delivered a 39% return to shareholders who held over that period. That's why it could be worth your time looking into this stock further to discover if it has more traits of a multi-bagger.
On a final note, we've found 2 warning signs for SEB that we think you should be aware of.
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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