Stock Analysis

Why The 23% Return On Capital At Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) Should Have Your Attention

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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. 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. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. And in light of that, the trends we're seeing at Northrop Grumman's (NYSE:NOC) look very promising so lets take a look.

What Is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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 Northrop Grumman, this is the formula:

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

0.23 = US$7.3b ÷ (US$43b - US$11b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

Thus, Northrop Grumman has an ROCE of 23%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 9.1% earned by companies in a similar industry.

Our analysis indicates that NOC is potentially undervalued!

NYSE:NOC Return on Capital Employed December 2nd 2022

In the above chart we have measured Northrop Grumman'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 Northrop Grumman.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

Investors would be pleased with what's happening at Northrop Grumman. The data shows that returns on capital have increased substantially over the last five years to 23%. The amount of capital employed has increased too, by 57%. The increasing returns on a growing amount of capital is common amongst multi-baggers and that's why we're impressed.

The Key Takeaway

A company that is growing its returns on capital and can consistently reinvest in itself is a highly sought after trait, and that's what Northrop Grumman has. Since the stock has returned a solid 90% to shareholders over the last five years, it's fair to say investors are beginning to recognize these changes. Therefore, we think it would be worth your time to check if these trends are going to continue.

If you'd like to know about the risks facing Northrop Grumman, we've discovered 2 warning signs that you should be aware of.

If you'd like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets here.

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

Find out whether Northrop Grumman 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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