If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. With that in mind, the ROCE of Sunpower Group (SGX:5GD) looks decent, right now, so lets see what the trend of returns 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. To calculate this metric for Sunpower Group, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.10 = CN¥630m ÷ (CN¥9.2b - CN¥3.1b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).
Thus, Sunpower Group has an ROCE of 10%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Machinery industry average of 7.1% it's much better.
In the above chart we have measured Sunpower Group's 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 Sunpower Group.
The Trend Of ROCE
While the returns on capital are good, they haven't moved much. The company has employed 472% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 10%. 10% is a pretty standard return, and it provides some comfort knowing that Sunpower Group has consistently earned this amount. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.
On a side note, Sunpower Group has done well to reduce current liabilities to 33% of total assets over the last five years. This can eliminate some of the risks inherent in the operations because the business has less outstanding obligations to their suppliers and or short-term creditors than they did previously.
To sum it up, Sunpower Group has simply been reinvesting capital steadily, at those decent rates of return. And the stock has done incredibly well with a 121% return over the last five years, so long term investors are no doubt ecstatic with that result. So even though the stock might be more "expensive" than it was before, we think the strong fundamentals warrant this stock for further research.
If you'd like to know more about Sunpower Group, we've spotted 2 warning signs, and 1 of them shouldn't be ignored.
For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.
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