Olympic Steel (NASDAQ:ZEUS) Is Looking To Continue Growing Its Returns On Capital

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 15, 2021
NasdaqGS:ZEUS
Source: Shutterstock

Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? 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. So when we looked at Olympic Steel (NASDAQ:ZEUS) and its trend of ROCE, we really liked what we saw.

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. The formula for this calculation on Olympic Steel is:

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

0.19 = US$142m ÷ (US$971m - US$229m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

So, Olympic Steel has an ROCE of 19%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Metals and Mining industry average of 15% it's much better.

View our latest analysis for Olympic Steel

roce
NasdaqGS:ZEUS Return on Capital Employed November 16th 2021

In the above chart we have measured Olympic Steel'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 Olympic Steel.

What Can We Tell From Olympic Steel's ROCE Trend?

Investors would be pleased with what's happening at Olympic Steel. The numbers show that in the last five years, the returns generated on capital employed have grown considerably to 19%. The amount of capital employed has increased too, by 62%. The increasing returns on a growing amount of capital is common amongst multi-baggers and that's why we're impressed.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, Olympic Steel has proven it can reinvest in the business and generate higher returns on that capital employed, which is terrific. Since the stock has only returned 11% to shareholders over the last five years, the promising fundamentals may not be recognized yet by investors. Given that, we'd look further into this stock in case it has more traits that could make it multiply in the long term.

If you want to know some of the risks facing Olympic Steel we've found 5 warning signs (3 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

While Olympic Steel may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.

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