Stock Analysis

Returns On Capital At Otec (TYO:1736) Have Hit The Brakes

TSE:1736
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What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? 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. With that in mind, the ROCE of Otec (TYO:1736) looks decent, right now, so lets see what the trend of returns can tell us.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

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 Otec:

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

0.12 = JP¥2.0b ÷ (JP¥26b - JP¥8.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

So, Otec has an ROCE of 12%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Trade Distributors industry average of 6.3% it's much better.

Check out our latest analysis for Otec

roce
JASDAQ:1736 Return on Capital Employed April 30th 2021

Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for Otec's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of Otec, check out these free graphs here.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Otec Tell Us?

While the current returns on capital are decent, they haven't changed much. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 12% and the business has deployed 47% more capital into its operations. Since 12% is a moderate ROCE though, it's good to see a business can continue to reinvest at these decent rates of return. Stable returns in this ballpark can be unexciting, but if they can be maintained over the long run, they often provide nice rewards to shareholders.

One more thing to note, even though ROCE has remained relatively flat over the last five years, the reduction in current liabilities to 34% of total assets, is good to see from a business owner's perspective. 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.

What We Can Learn From Otec's ROCE

The main thing to remember is that Otec has proven its ability to continually reinvest at respectable rates of return. And long term investors would be thrilled with the 205% return they've received 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.

One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing Otec that you might find interesting.

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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