If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's amount of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. So when we looked at the ROCE trend of National Research (NASDAQ:NRC) we really liked what we saw.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
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. The formula for this calculation on National Research is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.44 = US$42m ÷ (US$127m - US$32m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
Therefore, National Research has an ROCE of 44%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 10% earned by companies in a similar industry.
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for National Research's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you're interested in investigating National Research's past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
So How Is National Research's ROCE Trending?
National Research is showing promise given that its ROCE is trending up and to the right. Looking at the data, we can see that even though capital employed in the business has remained relatively flat, the ROCE generated has risen by 69% over the last five years. So our take on this is that the business has increased efficiencies to generate these higher returns, all the while not needing to make any additional investments. It's worth looking deeper into this though because while it's great that the business is more efficient, it might also mean that going forward the areas to invest internally for the organic growth are lacking.
The Bottom Line On National Research's ROCE
In summary, we're delighted to see that National Research has been able to increase efficiencies and earn higher rates of return on the same amount of capital. And with the stock having performed exceptionally well over the last five years, these patterns are being accounted for by investors. Therefore, we think it would be worth your time to check if these trends are going to continue.
If you'd like to know about the risks facing National Research, we've discovered 3 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.
When trading National Research or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.