Stock Analysis

OMV Petrom (BVB:SNP) Could Be Struggling To Allocate Capital

BVB:SNP
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If you're looking at a mature business that's past the growth phase, what are some of the underlying trends that pop up? When we see a declining return on capital employed (ROCE) in conjunction with a declining base of capital employed, that's often how a mature business shows signs of aging. This indicates to us that the business is not only shrinking the size of its net assets, but its returns are falling as well. On that note, looking into OMV Petrom (BVB:SNP), we weren't too upbeat about how things were going.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

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 OMV Petrom:

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

0.02 = RON839m ÷ (RON48b - RON5.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

So, OMV Petrom has an ROCE of 2.0%. Even though it's in line with the industry average of 2.0%, it's still a low return by itself.

Check out our latest analysis for OMV Petrom

roce
BVB:SNP Return on Capital Employed May 30th 2021

In the above chart we have measured OMV Petrom's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Does the ROCE Trend For OMV Petrom Tell Us?

In terms of OMV Petrom's historical ROCE movements, the trend doesn't inspire confidence. Unfortunately the returns on capital have diminished from the 8.3% that they were earning five years ago. On top of that, it's worth noting that the amount of capital employed within the business has remained relatively steady. This combination can be indicative of a mature business that still has areas to deploy capital, but the returns received aren't as high due potentially to new competition or smaller margins. If these trends continue, we wouldn't expect OMV Petrom to turn into a multi-bagger.

The Bottom Line On OMV Petrom's ROCE

In the end, the trend of lower returns on the same amount of capital isn't typically an indication that we're looking at a growth stock. Since the stock has skyrocketed 138% over the last five years, it looks like investors have high expectations of the stock. In any case, the current underlying trends don't bode well for long term performance so unless they reverse, we'd start looking elsewhere.

Like most companies, OMV Petrom does come with some risks, and we've found 3 warning signs that you should be aware of.

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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.
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