If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. 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. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. And in light of that, the trends we're seeing at Lennox International's (NYSE:LII) look very promising so lets take a look.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
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. To calculate this metric for Lennox International, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.46 = US$567m ÷ (US$2.1b - US$849m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).
So, Lennox International has an ROCE of 46%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Building industry average of 13%.
In the above chart we have measured Lennox International's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
What Can We Tell From Lennox International's ROCE Trend?
Lennox International's ROCE growth is quite impressive. The figures show that over the last five years, ROCE has grown 28% whilst employing roughly the same amount of capital. So it's likely that the business is now reaping the full benefits of its past investments, since the capital employed hasn't changed considerably. It's worth looking deeper into this though because while it's great that the business is more efficient, it might also mean that going forward the areas to invest internally for the organic growth are lacking.
On a separate but related note, it's important to know that Lennox International has a current liabilities to total assets ratio of 41%, which we'd consider pretty high. This can bring about some risks because the company is basically operating with a rather large reliance on its suppliers or other sorts of short-term creditors. Ideally we'd like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.
The Key Takeaway
In summary, we're delighted to see that Lennox International has been able to increase efficiencies and earn higher rates of return on the same amount of capital. Since the stock has returned a staggering 122% 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.
On a final note, we've found 2 warning signs for Lennox International that we think you should be aware of.
Lennox International is not the only stock earning high returns. If you'd like to see more, check out our free list of companies earning high returns on equity with solid fundamentals.
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What are the risks and opportunities for Lennox International?
Earnings are forecast to grow 6.54% per year
Earnings have grown 9.7% per year over the past 5 years
Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow
High level of non-cash earnings
Significant insider selling over the past 3 months
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
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Lennox International Inc., together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets a range of products for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration markets in the United States, Canada, and internationally.
Established dividend payer with limited growth.