Tootsie Roll Industries (NYSE:TR) Has Some Difficulty Using Its Capital Effectively

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 07, 2021
NYSE:TR
Source: Shutterstock

What underlying fundamental trends can indicate that a company might be in decline? More often than not, we'll see a declining return on capital employed (ROCE) and a declining amount of capital employed. This reveals that the company isn't compounding shareholder wealth because returns are falling and its net asset base is shrinking. In light of that, from a first glance at Tootsie Roll Industries (NYSE:TR), we've spotted some signs that it could be struggling, so let's investigate.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Tootsie Roll Industries:

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

0.082 = US$76m ÷ (US$995m - US$76m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Therefore, Tootsie Roll Industries has an ROCE of 8.2%. In absolute terms, that's a low return but it's around the Food industry average of 9.5%.

See our latest analysis for Tootsie Roll Industries

roce
NYSE:TR Return on Capital Employed November 8th 2021

While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you'd like to look at how Tootsie Roll Industries has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

There is reason to be cautious about Tootsie Roll Industries, given the returns are trending downwards. Unfortunately the returns on capital have diminished from the 11% that they were earning five years ago. And on the capital employed front, the business is utilizing roughly the same amount of capital as it was back then. Since returns are falling and the business has the same amount of assets employed, this can suggest it's a mature business that hasn't had much growth in the last five years. If these trends continue, we wouldn't expect Tootsie Roll Industries to turn into a multi-bagger.

Our Take On Tootsie Roll Industries' ROCE

All in all, the lower returns from the same amount of capital employed aren't exactly signs of a compounding machine. Despite the concerning underlying trends, the stock has actually gained 9.2% over the last five years, so it might be that the investors are expecting the trends to reverse. Regardless, we don't like the trends as they are and if they persist, we think you might find better investments elsewhere.

If you'd like to know more about Tootsie Roll Industries, we've spotted 2 warning signs, and 1 of them is a bit concerning.

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.

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