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. Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. Having said that, from a first glance at Neoen (EPA:NEOEN) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.
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 Neoen is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.035 = €136m ÷ (€4.5b - €552m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
So, Neoen has an ROCE of 3.5%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Renewable Energy industry average of 4.4%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Neoen 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.
The Trend Of ROCE
There are better returns on capital out there than what we're seeing at Neoen. The company has employed 436% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 3.5%. Given the company has increased the amount of capital employed, it appears the investments that have been made simply don't provide a high return on capital.
Long story short, while Neoen has been reinvesting its capital, the returns that it's generating haven't increased. Yet to long term shareholders the stock has gifted them an incredible 102% return in the last three years, so the market appears to be rosy about its future. But if the trajectory of these underlying trends continue, we think the likelihood of it being a multi-bagger from here isn't high.
If you want to know some of the risks facing Neoen we've found 2 warning signs (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
While Neoen may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.