If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. So when we looked at Icon Culture Global (HKG:8500), they do have a high ROCE, but we weren't exactly elated from how returns are trending.
What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?
Just to clarify if you're unsure, ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. To calculate this metric for Icon Culture Global, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.26 = CN¥31m ÷ (CN¥211m - CN¥91m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).
So, Icon Culture Global has an ROCE of 26%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 10% earned by companies in a similar industry.
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for Icon Culture Global's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of Icon Culture Global, check out these free graphs here.
What Does the ROCE Trend For Icon Culture Global Tell Us?
In terms of Icon Culture Global's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Historically returns on capital were even higher at 38%, but they have dropped over the last three 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 separate but related note, it's important to know that Icon Culture Global has a current liabilities to total assets ratio of 43%, which we'd consider pretty high. This can bring about some risks because the company is basically operating with a rather large reliance on its suppliers or other sorts of short-term creditors. Ideally we'd like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.
The Key Takeaway
While returns have fallen for Icon Culture Global in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. Despite these promising trends, the stock has collapsed 75% over the last year, so there could be other factors hurting the company's prospects. Therefore, we'd suggest researching the stock further to uncover more about the business.
Like most companies, Icon Culture Global does come with some risks, and we've found 1 warning sign that you should be aware of.
If you'd like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets here.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.