Stock Analysis

SSE (LON:SSE) Shareholders Will Want The ROCE Trajectory To Continue

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LSE:SSE
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To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. So on that note, SSE (LON:SSE) looks quite promising in regards to its trends of return on capital.

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. The formula for this calculation on SSE is:

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

0.053 = UK£1.2b ÷ (UK£26b - UK£4.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

Therefore, SSE has an ROCE of 5.3%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Electric Utilities industry average of 9.3%.

See our latest analysis for SSE

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LSE:SSE Return on Capital Employed November 30th 2023

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

So How Is SSE's ROCE Trending?

We're glad to see that ROCE is heading in the right direction, even if it is still low at the moment. The numbers show that in the last five years, the returns generated on capital employed have grown considerably to 5.3%. Basically the business is earning more per dollar of capital invested and in addition to that, 30% more capital is being employed now too. So we're very much inspired by what we're seeing at SSE thanks to its ability to profitably reinvest capital.

One more thing to note, SSE has decreased current liabilities to 17% of total assets over this period, which effectively reduces the amount of funding from suppliers or short-term creditors. So shareholders would be pleased that the growth in returns has mostly come from underlying business performance.

What We Can Learn From SSE's ROCE

A company that is growing its returns on capital and can consistently reinvest in itself is a highly sought after trait, and that's what SSE has. And with the stock having performed exceptionally well over the last five years, these patterns are being accounted for by investors. With that being said, we still think the promising fundamentals mean the company deserves some further due diligence.

One final note, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with SSE (including 1 which is a bit concerning) .

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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