Stock Analysis

There Are Reasons To Feel Uneasy About H&R Block's (NYSE:HRB) Returns On Capital

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What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could 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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Looking at H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), it does have a high ROCE right now, but lets see how returns are trending.

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. The formula for this calculation on H&R Block is:

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

0.40 = US$711m ÷ (US$2.6b - US$790m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

Therefore, H&R Block has an ROCE of 40%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Consumer Services industry average of 6.0%.

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NYSE:HRB Return on Capital Employed January 27th 2023

In the above chart we have measured H&R Block'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 H&R Block.

What Can We Tell From H&R Block's ROCE Trend?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at H&R Block, we didn't gain much confidence. Historically returns on capital were even higher at 51%, but they have dropped over the last five years. Although, given both revenue and the amount of assets employed in the business have increased, it could suggest the company is investing in growth, and the extra capital has led to a short-term reduction in ROCE. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

Our Take On H&R Block's ROCE

Even though returns on capital have fallen in the short term, we find it promising that revenue and capital employed have both increased for H&R Block. And the stock has followed suit returning a meaningful 89% to shareholders over the last five years. So should these growth trends continue, we'd be optimistic on the stock going forward.

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

If you want to search for more stocks that have been earning high returns, check out this free list of stocks with solid balance sheets that are also earning high returns on equity.

What are the risks and opportunities for H&R Block?

H&R Block, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides assisted income tax return preparation and do-it-yourself (DIY) tax return preparation services and products to the general public primarily in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

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  • Trading at 44.2% below our estimate of its fair value

  • Earnings are forecast to grow 11.91% per year


  • Negative shareholders equity

  • Has a high level of debt

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