Stock Analysis

Capital Allocation Trends At Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA (EPA:DPAM) Aren't Ideal

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Ignoring the stock price of a company, what are the underlying trends that tell us a business is past the growth phase? Businesses in decline often have two underlying trends, firstly, a declining return on capital employed (ROCE) and a declining base of capital employed. Basically the company is earning less on its investments and it is also reducing its total assets. Having said that, after a brief look, Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA (EPA:DPAM) we aren't filled with optimism, but let's investigate further.

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 Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA is:

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

0.082 = €4.5m ÷ (€58m - €2.1m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

So, Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA has an ROCE of 8.2%. On its own that's a low return, but compared to the average of 2.8% generated by the Oil and Gas industry, it's much better.

See our latest analysis for Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA

ENXTPA:DPAM Return on Capital Employed May 4th 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 Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA's past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

How Are Returns Trending?

There is reason to be cautious about Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA, given the returns are trending downwards. About five years ago, returns on capital were 13%, however they're now substantially lower than that as we saw above. And on the capital employed front, the business is utilizing roughly the same amount of capital as it was back then. Since returns are falling and the business has the same amount of assets employed, this can suggest it's a mature business that hasn't had much growth in the last five years. So because these trends aren't typically conducive to creating a multi-bagger, we wouldn't hold our breath on Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA becoming one if things continue as they have.

The Bottom Line

All in all, the lower returns from the same amount of capital employed aren't exactly signs of a compounding machine. The market must be rosy on the stock's future because even though the underlying trends aren't too encouraging, the stock has soared 165%. In any case, the current underlying trends don't bode well for long term performance so unless they reverse, we'd start looking elsewhere.

If you'd like to know more about Les Docks des Pétroles d'Ambès -SA, we've spotted 4 warning signs, and 1 of them is a bit concerning.

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