Stock Analysis

Xylem (NYSE:XYL) Has Some Way To Go To Become A Multi-Bagger

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What trends should we look for it we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? 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. In light of that, when we looked at Xylem (NYSE:XYL) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Xylem:

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

0.085 = US$582m ÷ (US$8.3b - US$1.4b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

Thus, Xylem has an ROCE of 8.5%. In absolute terms, that's a low return but it's around the Machinery industry average of 10%.

Check out our latest analysis for Xylem

NYSE:XYL Return on Capital Employed March 31st 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Xylem compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Xylem here for free.

What Can We Tell From Xylem's ROCE Trend?

In terms of Xylem's historical ROCE trend, it doesn't exactly demand attention. The company has employed 31% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 8.5%. Given the company has increased the amount of capital employed, it appears the investments that have been made simply don't provide a high return on capital.

What We Can Learn From Xylem's ROCE

In conclusion, Xylem has been investing more capital into the business, but returns on that capital haven't increased. Although the market must be expecting these trends to improve because the stock has gained 85% over the last five years. But if the trajectory of these underlying trends continue, we think the likelihood of it being a multi-bagger from here isn't high.

Xylem does have some risks though, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Xylem that you might be interested in.

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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