Arcadis (AMS:ARCAD) Is Experiencing Growth In Returns On Capital

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 29, 2021
ENXTAM:ARCAD
Source: Shutterstock

Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. Typically, we'll want to notice a trend of growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and alongside that, an expanding base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. So when we looked at Arcadis (AMS:ARCAD) and its trend of ROCE, we really liked what we saw.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. The formula for this calculation on Arcadis is:

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

0.14 = €228m ÷ (€2.7b - €1.1b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Therefore, Arcadis has an ROCE of 14%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 9.2% generated by the Construction industry.

See our latest analysis for Arcadis

roce
ENXTAM:ARCAD Return on Capital Employed September 30th 2021

In the above chart we have measured Arcadis' prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Arcadis.

So How Is Arcadis' ROCE Trending?

Arcadis' ROCE growth is quite impressive. The figures show that over the last five years, ROCE has grown 54% whilst employing roughly the same amount of capital. 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. On that front, things are looking good so it's worth exploring what management has said about growth plans going forward.

On a side note, Arcadis' current liabilities are still rather high at 42% of total assets. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) are funding a large portion of the business, so just be aware that this can introduce some elements of risk. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, it can be beneficial if this ratio is lower.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, Arcadis is collecting higher returns from the same amount of capital, and that's impressive. Since the stock has returned a staggering 253% to shareholders over the last five years, it looks like investors are recognizing these changes. Therefore, we think it would be worth your time to check if these trends are going to continue.

One more thing to note, we've identified 2 warning signs with Arcadis and understanding these should be part of your investment process.

While Arcadis may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.

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