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. So when we looked at Ubright Optronics (GTSM:4933) and its trend of ROCE, we really liked what we saw.
What is 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Ubright Optronics:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.052 = NT$180m ÷ (NT$4.0b - NT$512m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
Thus, Ubright Optronics has an ROCE of 5.2%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Semiconductor industry average of 11%.
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for Ubright Optronics' ROCE against it's prior returns. If you want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of Ubright Optronics, check out these free graphs here.
How Are Returns Trending?
While in absolute terms it isn't a high ROCE, it's promising to see that it has been moving in the right direction. The data shows that returns on capital have increased substantially over the last five years to 5.2%. The company is effectively making more money per dollar of capital used, and it's worth noting that the amount of capital has increased too, by 23%. The increasing returns on a growing amount of capital is common amongst multi-baggers and that's why we're impressed.
On a related note, the company's ratio of current liabilities to total assets has decreased to 13%, which basically reduces it's funding from the likes of short-term creditors or suppliers. This tells us that Ubright Optronics has grown its returns without a reliance on increasing their current liabilities, which we're very happy with.
All in all, it's terrific to see that Ubright Optronics is reaping the rewards from prior investments and is growing its capital base. And with the stock having performed exceptionally well over the last five years, these patterns are being accounted for by investors. Therefore, we think it would be worth your time to check if these trends are going to continue.
If you'd like to know more about Ubright Optronics, we've spotted 3 warning signs, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.
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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