If you're not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should keep an eye out for. One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing amount of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. Looking at Janco Holdings (HKG:8035), it does have a high ROCE right now, but lets see how returns are trending.
Understanding 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. The formula for this calculation on Janco Holdings is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.23 = HK$23m ÷ (HK$351m - HK$254m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
Thus, Janco Holdings has an ROCE of 23%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 17% 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 Janco Holdings' ROCE against it's prior returns. If you're interested in investigating Janco Holdings' past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
So How Is Janco Holdings' ROCE Trending?
Over the past five years, Janco Holdings' ROCE and capital employed have both remained mostly flat. It's not uncommon to see this when looking at a mature and stable business that isn't re-investing its earnings because it has likely passed that phase of the business cycle. So while the current operations are delivering respectable returns, unless capital employed increases we'd be hard-pressed to believe it's a multi-bagger going forward.
Another point to note, we noticed the company has increased current liabilities over the last five years. This is intriguing because if current liabilities hadn't increased to 72% of total assets, this reported ROCE would probably be less than23% because total capital employed would be higher.The 23% ROCE could be even lower if current liabilities weren't 72% of total assets, because the the formula would show a larger base of total capital employed. So with current liabilities at such high levels, this effectively means the likes of suppliers or short-term creditors are funding a meaningful part of the business, which in some instances can bring some risks.
The Bottom Line
While Janco Holdings has impressive profitability from its capital, it isn't increasing that amount of capital. Since the stock has declined 28% over the last five years, investors may not be too optimistic on this trend improving either. Therefore based on the analysis done in this article, we don't think Janco Holdings has the makings of a multi-bagger.
On a final note, we've found 2 warning signs for Janco Holdings that we think 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.
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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.