Stock Analysis

Federal Signal (NYSE:FSS) Is Experiencing Growth In Returns On Capital

NYSE:FSS
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Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. 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, we've noticed some promising trends at Federal Signal (NYSE:FSS) so let's look a bit deeper.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?

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 Federal Signal is:

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

0.11 = US$141m ÷ (US$1.5b - US$181m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

So, Federal Signal has an ROCE of 11%. That's a pretty standard return and it's in line with the industry average of 11%.

See our latest analysis for Federal Signal

roce
NYSE:FSS Return on Capital Employed January 9th 2023

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Federal Signal compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Federal Signal.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

Investors would be pleased with what's happening at Federal Signal. The numbers show that in the last five years, the returns generated on capital employed have grown considerably to 11%. 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 48%. So we're very much inspired by what we're seeing at Federal Signal thanks to its ability to profitably reinvest capital.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, Federal Signal has proven it can reinvest in the business and generate higher returns on that capital employed, which is terrific. Since the stock has returned a staggering 161% to shareholders over the last five years, it looks like investors are recognizing these changes. So given the stock has proven it has promising trends, it's worth researching the company further to see if these trends are likely to persist.

One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing Federal Signal that you might find interesting.

While Federal Signal 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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Federal Signal is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.