Stock Analysis

The Returns On Capital At Kitwave Group (LON:KITW) Don't Inspire Confidence

AIM:KITW
Source: Shutterstock

What trends should we look for it we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. Having said that, from a first glance at Kitwave Group (LON:KITW) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

What Is 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. To calculate this metric for Kitwave Group, this is the formula:

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

0.13 = UK£12m ÷ (UK£195m - UK£107m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2022).

Thus, Kitwave Group has an ROCE of 13%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Consumer Retailing industry average of 10% it's much better.

See our latest analysis for Kitwave Group

roce
AIM:KITW Return on Capital Employed October 18th 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Kitwave Group compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Kitwave Group.

How Are Returns Trending?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Kitwave Group, we didn't gain much confidence. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 20% over the last five years. 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, Kitwave Group has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 55% of total assets. That could partly explain why the ROCE has dropped. What's more, this can reduce some aspects of risk to the business because now the company's suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of its operations. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money. Keep in mind 55% is still pretty high, so those risks are still somewhat prevalent.

The Bottom Line

While returns have fallen for Kitwave Group in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. And the stock has followed suit returning a meaningful 13% to shareholders over the last year. So while investors seem to be recognizing these promising trends, we would look further into this stock to make sure the other metrics justify the positive view.

One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Kitwave Group and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

While Kitwave Group 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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Kitwave Group is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.