Return Trends At AAK AB (publ.) (STO:AAK) Aren't Appealing

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 06, 2022
OM:AAK
Source: Shutterstock

To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing amount of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. That's why when we briefly looked at AAK AB (publ.)'s (STO:AAK) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. The formula for this calculation on AAK AB (publ.) is:

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

0.14 = kr2.1b ÷ (kr27b - kr12b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

Thus, AAK AB (publ.) has an ROCE of 14%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 8.8% generated by the Food industry.

View our latest analysis for AAK AB (publ.)

roce
OM:AAK Return on Capital Employed March 6th 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for AAK AB (publ.) compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering AAK AB (publ.) here for free.

How Are Returns Trending?

The trend of ROCE doesn't stand out much, but returns on a whole are decent. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 14% and the business has deployed 31% more capital into its operations. Since 14% 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.

On another note, while the change in ROCE trend might not scream for attention, it's interesting that the current liabilities have actually gone up over the last five years. This is intriguing because if current liabilities hadn't increased to 45% of total assets, this reported ROCE would probably be less than14% because total capital employed would be higher.The 14% ROCE could be even lower if current liabilities weren't 45% of total assets, because the the formula would show a larger base of total capital employed. Additionally, this high level of current liabilities isn't ideal because it means the company's suppliers (or short-term creditors) are effectively funding a large portion of the business.

The Bottom Line On AAK AB (publ.)'s ROCE

In the end, AAK AB (publ.) has proven its ability to adequately reinvest capital at good rates of return. And the stock has followed suit returning a meaningful 74% to shareholders over the last five years. So while investors seem to be recognizing these promising trends, we still believe the stock deserves further research.

While AAK AB (publ.) doesn't shine too bright in this respect, it's still worth seeing if the company is trading at attractive prices. You can find that out with our FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform.

While AAK AB (publ.) 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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