Arabian Cement (TADAWUL:3010) Could Be At Risk Of Shrinking As A Company

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 12, 2022
SASE:3010
Source: Shutterstock

If you're looking at a mature business that's past the growth phase, what are some of the underlying trends that pop up? Typically, we'll see the trend of both return on capital employed (ROCE) declining and this usually coincides with a decreasing amount of capital employed. This combination can tell you that not only is the company investing less, it's earning less on what it does invest. So after we looked into Arabian Cement (TADAWUL:3010), the trends above didn't look too great.

What is 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. The formula for this calculation on Arabian Cement is:

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

0.073 = ر.س231m ÷ (ر.س3.4b - ر.س226m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

Thus, Arabian Cement has an ROCE of 7.3%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Basic Materials industry average of 9.4%.

View our latest analysis for Arabian Cement

roce
SASE:3010 Return on Capital Employed January 12th 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Arabian Cement compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

So How Is Arabian Cement's ROCE Trending?

There is reason to be cautious about Arabian Cement, given the returns are trending downwards. To be more specific, the ROCE was 17% five years ago, but since then it has dropped noticeably. And on the capital employed front, the business is utilizing roughly the same amount of capital as it was back then. Companies that exhibit these attributes tend to not be shrinking, but they can be mature and facing pressure on their margins from competition. If these trends continue, we wouldn't expect Arabian Cement to turn into a multi-bagger.

In Conclusion...

All in all, the lower returns from the same amount of capital employed aren't exactly signs of a compounding machine. Yet despite these concerning fundamentals, the stock has performed strongly with a 50% return over the last five years, so investors appear very optimistic. In any case, the current underlying trends don't bode well for long term performance so unless they reverse, we'd start looking elsewhere.

One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Arabian Cement and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

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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