Electrocomponents (LON:ECM) Hasn't Managed To Accelerate Its Returns

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 15, 2022
LSE:RS1
Source: Shutterstock

If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to 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. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. That's why when we briefly looked at Electrocomponents' (LON:ECM) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.

Understanding 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 Electrocomponents:

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

0.19 = UK£250m ÷ (UK£1.9b - UK£643m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

Thus, Electrocomponents has an ROCE of 19%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Trade Distributors industry average of 14% it's much better.

View our latest analysis for Electrocomponents

roce
LSE:ECM Return on Capital Employed April 15th 2022

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

What Does the ROCE Trend For Electrocomponents Tell Us?

While the current returns on capital are decent, they haven't changed much. The company has consistently earned 19% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 98% in that time. Since 19% is a moderate ROCE though, it's good to see a business can continue to reinvest at these decent rates of return. Stable returns in this ballpark can be unexciting, but if they can be maintained over the long run, they often provide nice rewards to shareholders.

The Bottom Line

In the end, Electrocomponents has proven its ability to adequately reinvest capital at good rates of return. On top of that, the stock has rewarded shareholders with a remarkable 131% return to those who've held over the last five years. So even though the stock might be more "expensive" than it was before, we think the strong fundamentals warrant this stock for further research.

While Electrocomponents doesn't shine too bright in this respect, it's still worth seeing if the company is trading at attractive prices. You can find that out with our FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform.

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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