If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look 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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Ergo, when we looked at the ROCE trends at VST Industries (NSE:VSTIND), we liked what we saw.
What is 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for VST Industries:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.45 = ₹3.7b ÷ (₹14b - ₹5.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
Thus, VST Industries has an ROCE of 45%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 17% earned by companies in a similar industry.
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'd like to look at how VST Industries has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What Does the ROCE Trend For VST Industries Tell Us?
We'd be pretty happy with returns on capital like VST Industries. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 45% and the business has deployed 95% more capital into its operations. With returns that high, it's great that the business can continually reinvest its money at such appealing rates of return. If these trends can continue, it wouldn't surprise us if the company became a multi-bagger.
On a side note, VST Industries has done well to reduce current liabilities to 41% of total assets over the last five years. This can eliminate some of the risks inherent in the operations because the business has less outstanding obligations to their suppliers and or short-term creditors than they did previously. We'd like to see this trend continue though because as it stands today, thats still a pretty high level.
The Bottom Line On VST Industries' ROCE
In short, we'd argue VST Industries has the makings of a multi-bagger since its been able to compound its capital at very profitable rates of return. On top of that, the stock has rewarded shareholders with a remarkable 126% return to those who've held over the last five years. So while the positive underlying trends may be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.
Before jumping to any conclusions though, we need to know what value we're getting for the current share price. That's where you can check out our FREE intrinsic value estimation that compares the share price and estimated value.
If you want to search for more stocks that have been earning high returns, check out this free list of stocks with solid balance sheets that are also earning high returns on equity.
If you’re looking to trade VST Industries, open an account with the lowest-cost* platform trusted by professionals, Interactive Brokers. Their clients from over 200 countries and territories trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account.
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.