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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think FIH group (LON:FIH) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.
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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for FIH group:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.021 = UK£1.4m ÷ (UK£75m - UK£8.4m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).
Thus, FIH group has an ROCE of 2.1%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Commercial Services industry average of 11%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for FIH group 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 FIH group here for free.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
On the surface, the trend of ROCE at FIH group doesn't inspire confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 2.1% from 5.7% five years ago. Given the business is employing more capital while revenue has slipped, this is a bit concerning. If this were to continue, you might be looking at a company that is trying to reinvest for growth but is actually losing market share since sales haven't increased.
We're a bit apprehensive about FIH group because despite more capital being deployed in the business, returns on that capital and sales have both fallen. Long term shareholders who've owned the stock over the last five years have experienced a 21% depreciation in their investment, so it appears the market might not like these trends either. Unless there is a shift to a more positive trajectory in these metrics, we would look elsewhere.
If you want to know some of the risks facing FIH group we've found 3 warning signs (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
While FIH group isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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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.