Stock Analysis

Centamin (LON:CEY) Could Be Struggling To Allocate Capital

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LSE:CEY
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To avoid investing in a business that's in decline, there's a few financial metrics that can provide early indications of aging. When we see a declining return on capital employed (ROCE) in conjunction with a declining base of capital employed, that's often how a mature business shows signs of aging. Ultimately this means that the company is earning less per dollar invested and on top of that, it's shrinking its base of capital employed. And from a first read, things don't look too good at Centamin (LON:CEY), so let's see why.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Centamin:

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

0.087 = US$118m ÷ (US$1.4b - US$75m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

So, Centamin has an ROCE of 8.7%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Metals and Mining industry average of 11%.

View our latest analysis for Centamin

roce
LSE:CEY Return on Capital Employed October 1st 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Centamin 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 Centamin.

The Trend Of ROCE

We are a bit worried about the trend of returns on capital at Centamin. To be more specific, the ROCE was 16% five years ago, but since then it has dropped noticeably. On top of that, it's worth noting that the amount of capital employed within the business has remained relatively steady. This combination can be indicative of a mature business that still has areas to deploy capital, but the returns received aren't as high due potentially to new competition or smaller margins. So because these trends aren't typically conducive to creating a multi-bagger, we wouldn't hold our breath on Centamin becoming one if things continue as they have.

The Bottom Line On Centamin's ROCE

In the end, the trend of lower returns on the same amount of capital isn't typically an indication that we're looking at a growth stock. Investors haven't taken kindly to these developments, since the stock has declined 17% from where it was five years ago. Unless there is a shift to a more positive trajectory in these metrics, we would look elsewhere.

One final note, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Centamin (including 1 which is a bit unpleasant) .

While Centamin 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 Centamin 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.

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About LSE:CEY

Centamin

Centamin plc engages in the exploration, mining, and development of precious metals in Egypt, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Jersey, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.

Analysis AreaScore (0-6)
Valuation3
Future Growth0
Past Performance2
Financial Health6
Dividends2

Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.

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