# What Do You Get For Owning Flexible Solutions International Inc (NYSEMKT:FSI)?

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want a simplistic look at the return on Flexible Solutions International Inc (NYSEMKT:FSI) stock.

Purchasing Flexible Solutions International gives you an ownership stake in the company. Your equity share is granted in return for the capital provided to the business to operate, and in order for an investment to be successful the business has to create earnings from the funds that make up this capital. You need to pay attention to this because your return on investment is linked to dividends and internal investments to improve the business, which can only occur if the company is expected to produce adequate earnings with the capital that has been provided. To understand Flexible Solutions International’s capital returns we will look at a useful metric called return on capital employed. This will tell us if the company is growing your capital and placing you in good stead to sell your shares at a profit.

### What is Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)?

You only have a finite amount of capital to invest, so there are only so many companies that you can add to your portfolio. Accordingly, before you invest you need to assess the capital returns that the company has produced with reference to a certain benchmark to ensure that you are confident in the business’ ability to grow your capital at a level that grants an investment over other companies. A good metric to use is return on capital employed (ROCE), which helps us gauge how much income can be created from the funds needed to operate the business. This metric will tell us if Flexible Solutions International is good at growing investor capital. Take a look at the formula box beneath:

ROCE Calculation for FSI

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) = Earnings Before Tax (EBT) ÷ (Capital Employed)

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = US\$1.3m ÷ (US\$20m – US\$2.2m) = 7.6%

The calculation above shows that FSI’s earnings were 7.6% of capital employed. This shows Flexible Solutions International provides a dull capital return that is below the 15% ROCE that is typically considered to be a strong benchmark. Nevertheless, if FSI is clever with their reinvestments or dividend payments, investors can still grow their capital but may fall behind other more attractive opportunities in the market.

### A deeper look

Although Flexible Solutions International is in an unfavourable position, you should know that this could change if the company is able to increase earnings on the same capital base or find new efficiencies that require less capital to produce earnings. So it is important for investors to understand what is going on under the hood and look at how these variables have been behaving. Looking three years in the past, it is evident that FSI’s ROCE has deteriorated from 17%, indicating the company’s capital returns have declined. With this, the current earnings of US\$1.3m improved from US\$661k however capital employed has improved by a proportionally greater amount as a result of a hike in the level of total assets , which suggests investor’s ROCE has fallen because the company requires more capital to create earnings despite the previous growth in EBT.

### Next Steps

Flexible Solutions International’s ROCE has decreased in the recent past and is currently at a level that makes us question whether the company is capable of providing a suitable return on investment. But don’t forget, return on capital employed is a static metric that should be looked at in conjunction with other fundamental indicators like future prospects and valuation. Flexible Solutions International’s fundamentals can be explored with the links I’ve provided below if you are interested, otherwise you can start looking at other high-performing stocks.

1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for FSI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FSI’s outlook.
2. Valuation: What is FSI worth today? Despite the unattractive ROCE, is the outlook correctly factored in to the price? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FSI is currently undervalued by the market.
3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.