Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. With that in mind, the ROCE of Harvest Technology (MTSE:HRV) looks great, so lets see what the trend can tell us.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
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 Harvest Technology is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.26 = €3.6m ÷ (€23m - €8.7m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
So, Harvest Technology has an ROCE of 26%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the IT industry average of 13%.
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 Harvest Technology has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What Can We Tell From Harvest Technology's ROCE Trend?
Harvest Technology's ROCE growth is quite impressive. More specifically, while the company has kept capital employed relatively flat over the last three years, the ROCE has climbed 287% in that same time. So it's likely that the business is now reaping the full benefits of its past investments, since the capital employed hasn't changed considerably. It's worth looking deeper into this though because while it's great that the business is more efficient, it might also mean that going forward the areas to invest internally for the organic growth are lacking.
The Bottom Line
To sum it up, Harvest Technology is collecting higher returns from the same amount of capital, and that's impressive. Considering the stock has delivered 4.1% to its stockholders over the last year, it may be fair to think that investors aren't fully aware of the promising trends yet. Given that, we'd look further into this stock in case it has more traits that could make it multiply in the long term.
One more thing, we've spotted 3 warning signs facing Harvest Technology that you might find interesting.
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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