Stock Analysis

Here's What's Concerning About Lancaster Colony's (NASDAQ:LANC) Returns On Capital

NasdaqGS:LANC
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Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. 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 Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. To calculate this metric for Lancaster Colony, this is the formula:

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

0.16 = US$152m ÷ (US$1.1b - US$191m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

Thus, Lancaster Colony has an ROCE of 16%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 9.5% generated by the Food industry.

Our analysis indicates that LANC is potentially overvalued!

roce
NasdaqGS:LANC Return on Capital Employed December 8th 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Lancaster Colony compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

The Trend Of ROCE

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Lancaster Colony doesn't inspire confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 16% from 29% five years ago. 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.

In Conclusion...

While returns have fallen for Lancaster Colony in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. And the stock has followed suit returning a meaningful 70% to shareholders over the last five years. So while investors seem to be recognizing these promising trends, we would look further into this stock to make sure the other metrics justify the positive view.

Since virtually every company faces some risks, it's worth knowing what they are, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Lancaster Colony (of which 1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you should know about.

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.

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

Find out whether Lancaster Colony 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.

View the Free Analysis

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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.