The Returns At Q P Group Holdings (HKG:1412) Provide Us With Signs Of What's To Come

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 14, 2021
SEHK:1412
Source: Shutterstock

What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could 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. However, after investigating Q P Group Holdings (HKG:1412), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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 Q P Group Holdings:

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

0.18 = HK$127m ÷ (HK$1.0b - HK$299m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

So, Q P Group Holdings has an ROCE of 18%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Consumer Durables industry average of 12% it's much better.

See our latest analysis for Q P Group Holdings

roce
SEHK:1412 Return on Capital Employed January 14th 2021

While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you're interested in investigating Q P Group Holdings' past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

The Trend Of ROCE

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Q P Group Holdings doesn't inspire confidence. Around three years ago the returns on capital were 26%, but since then they've fallen to 18%. However it looks like Q P Group Holdings might be reinvesting for long term growth because while capital employed has increased, the company's sales haven't changed much in the last 12 months. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

On a related note, Q P Group Holdings has decreased its current liabilities to 29% of total assets. So we could link some of this to the decrease in ROCE. 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

Bringing it all together, while we're somewhat encouraged by Q P Group Holdings' reinvestment in its own business, we're aware that returns are shrinking. Unsurprisingly then, the total return to shareholders over the last year has been flat. On the whole, we aren't too inspired by the underlying trends and we think there may be better chances of finding a multi-bagger elsewhere.

Like most companies, Q P Group Holdings does come with some risks, and we've found 2 warning signs that you should be aware of.

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive returns on equity.

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