# Command Center Inc (NASDAQ:CCNI): The Return Story

I am writing today to help inform people who are new to the stock market and want to better understand how you can grow your money by investing in Command Center Inc (NASDAQ:CCNI).

Command Center stock represents an ownership share in the company. Owing to this, it is important that the underlying business is producing a sufficient amount of income from the capital invested by stockholders. This is because the actual cash flow generated by the business dictates the potential for income (dividends) and capital appreciation (price increases), which are the two ways to achieve positive returns when buying a stock. Therefore, looking at how efficiently Command Center is able to use capital to create earnings will help us understand your potential return. Investors use many different metrics but the analysis below focuses on return on capital employed (ROCE). Let’s take a look at what it can tell us.

### Command Center’s Return On Capital Employed

You only have a finite amount of capital to invest, so there are only so many companies that you can add to your portfolio. Therefore all else aside, your investment in a certain company represents a vote of confidence that the money used to buy the stock will grow larger than if invested elsewhere. So the business’ ability to grow the size of your capital is very important and can be assessed by comparing the return on capital you can get on your investment with a hurdle rate that depends on the other return possibilities you can identify. We’ll look at Command Center’s returns by computing return on capital employed, which will tell us what the company can generate from the money spent in operations. Take a look at the formula box beneath:

ROCE Calculation for CCNI

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) = Earnings Before Tax (EBT) ÷ (Capital Employed)

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = US\$2.6m ÷ (US\$23m – US\$3.8m) = 14%

As you can see, CCNI earned \$13.7 from every \$100 you invested over the previous twelve months. This makes Command Center slightly mediocre when compared to a robust 15% ROCE yardstick. So if this rate continues in to the future, investor capital will be able to compound over time, but still may be missing out on some potential growth elsewhere.

### What is causing this?

Although Command Center is in an unfavourable position, you should know that this could change if the company is able to increase earnings on the same capital base or find new efficiencies that require less capital to produce earnings. So it is important for investors to understand what is going on under the hood and look at how these variables have been behaving. Looking three years in the past, it is evident that CCNI’s ROCE has deteriorated from 19%, indicating the company’s capital returns have declined. Over the same period, EBT went from US\$6.2m to US\$2.6m and capital employed declined as well albeit by a relatively smaller amount, signifying ROCE decreased as a result of a greater fall in earnings compared to the business’ use of capital.

### Next Steps

Command Center’s ROCE has decreased in the recent past and is currently at a level that makes us question whether the company is capable of providing a suitable return on investment. But don’t forget, return on capital employed is a static metric that should be looked at in conjunction with other fundamental indicators like future prospects and valuation. If you’re building your portfolio and want to take a deeper look, I’ve added a few links below that will help you further evaluate CCNI or move on to other alternatives.

1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CCNI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CCNI’s outlook.
2. Valuation: What is CCNI worth today? Despite the unattractive ROCE, is the outlook correctly factored in to the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CCNI is currently undervalued by the market.
3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.