Stock Analysis

Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC) Is Reinvesting At Lower Rates Of Return

NasdaqGS:LANC
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If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. Although, when we looked at Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the 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)

0.15 = US$140m ÷ (US$1.1b - US$179m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

So, Lancaster Colony has an ROCE of 15%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Food industry average of 10% it's much better.

View our latest analysis for Lancaster Colony

roce
NasdaqGS:LANC Return on Capital Employed May 20th 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.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Lancaster Colony Tell Us?

In terms of Lancaster Colony's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 32%, but since then they've fallen to 15%. However, given capital employed and revenue have both increased it appears that the business is currently pursuing growth, at the consequence of short term returns. If these investments prove successful, this can bode very well for long term stock performance.

The Key Takeaway

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. In light of this, the stock has only gained 11% over the last five years. Therefore we'd recommend looking further into this stock to confirm if it has the makings of a good investment.

If you'd like to know more about Lancaster Colony, we've spotted 3 warning signs, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.

For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high 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.

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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.