Returns On Capital At Berkeley Group Holdings (LON:BKG) Paint A Concerning Picture

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 17, 2022
LSE:BKG
Source: Shutterstock

What trends should we look for it we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. Having said that, from a first glance at Berkeley Group Holdings (LON:BKG) 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Berkeley Group Holdings:

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

0.15 = UK£545m ÷ (UK£5.5b - UK£1.8b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2021).

Therefore, Berkeley Group Holdings has an ROCE of 15%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Consumer Durables industry average of 11% it's much better.

See our latest analysis for Berkeley Group Holdings

roce
LSE:BKG Return on Capital Employed May 17th 2022

In the above chart we have measured Berkeley Group Holdings' prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Berkeley Group Holdings.

What Can We Tell From Berkeley Group Holdings' ROCE Trend?

In terms of Berkeley Group Holdings' historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 15% from 29% five years ago. Although, given both revenue and the amount of assets employed in the business have increased, it could suggest the company is investing in growth, and the extra capital has led to a short-term reduction in ROCE. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

On a side note, Berkeley Group Holdings has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 32% of total assets. That could partly explain why the ROCE has dropped. Effectively this means their suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of the business, which reduces some elements of risk. Since the business is basically funding more of its operations with it's own money, you could argue this has made the business less efficient at generating ROCE.

The Key Takeaway

Even though returns on capital have fallen in the short term, we find it promising that revenue and capital employed have both increased for Berkeley Group Holdings. In light of this, the stock has only gained 32% over the last five years. So this stock may still be an appealing investment opportunity, if other fundamentals prove to be sound.

While Berkeley Group Holdings 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.

While Berkeley Group Holdings 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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