If you're not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should 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. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. With that in mind, the ROCE of Waste Management (NYSE:WM) looks decent, right now, so lets see what the trend of returns can tell us.
What is 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 Waste Management:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.12 = US$3.0b ÷ (US$29b - US$4.1b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
Thus, Waste Management has an ROCE of 12%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 8.4% generated by the Commercial Services industry.
In the above chart we have measured Waste Management'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.
So How Is Waste Management's ROCE Trending?
The trend of ROCE doesn't stand out much, but returns on a whole are decent. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 12% and the business has deployed 38% more capital into its operations. Since 12% is a moderate ROCE though, it's good to see a business can continue to reinvest at these decent rates of return. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.
Our Take On Waste Management's ROCE
In the end, Waste Management has proven its ability to adequately reinvest capital at good rates of return. And the stock has done incredibly well with a 139% return over the last five years, so long term investors are no doubt ecstatic with that result. So while the positive underlying trends may be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.
Waste Management does have some risks though, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Waste Management 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.
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.