Stock Analysis

Will G.A. Holdings (HKG:8126) Multiply In Value Going Forward?

SEHK:8126
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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look 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. Although, when we looked at G.A. Holdings (HKG:8126), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.

Understanding 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 G.A. Holdings, this is the formula:

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

0.12 = HK$87m ÷ (HK$1.5b - HK$788m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

Therefore, G.A. Holdings has an ROCE of 12%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 4.9% generated by the Retail Distributors industry.

View our latest analysis for G.A. Holdings

roce
SEHK:8126 Return on Capital Employed March 9th 2021

Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for G.A. Holdings' ROCE against it's prior returns. If you'd like to look at how G.A. Holdings has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

When we looked at the ROCE trend at G.A. Holdings, we didn't gain much confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 16%, but since then they've fallen to 12%. Meanwhile, the business is utilizing more capital but this hasn't moved the needle much in terms of sales in the past 12 months, so this could reflect longer term investments. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

On a side note, G.A. Holdings' current liabilities have increased over the last five years to 51% of total assets, effectively distorting the ROCE to some degree. If current liabilities hadn't increased as much as they did, the ROCE could actually be even lower. And with current liabilities at these levels, suppliers or short-term creditors are effectively funding a large part of the business, which can introduce some risks.

The Bottom Line

Bringing it all together, while we're somewhat encouraged by G.A. Holdings' reinvestment in its own business, we're aware that returns are shrinking. And investors appear hesitant that the trends will pick up because the stock has fallen 59% in the last five years. Therefore based on the analysis done in this article, we don't think G.A. Holdings has the makings of a multi-bagger.

If you want to know some of the risks facing G.A. Holdings we've found 3 warning signs (2 are a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
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