Returns On Capital Signal Tricky Times Ahead For Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 11, 2021
NasdaqGS:BIDU
Source: Shutterstock

If you're not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should keep an eye out for. One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing amount 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. However, after investigating Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

Understanding 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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Baidu:

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

0.057 = CN¥19b ÷ (CN¥389b - CN¥65b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Thus, Baidu has an ROCE of 5.7%. On its own, that's a low figure but it's around the 7.1% average generated by the Interactive Media and Services industry.

See our latest analysis for Baidu

roce
NasdaqGS:BIDU Return on Capital Employed September 11th 2021

In the above chart we have measured Baidu's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Baidu here for free.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Baidu Tell Us?

In terms of Baidu's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 8.5% over the last five years. 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.

Our Take On Baidu's ROCE

In summary, despite lower returns in the short term, we're encouraged to see that Baidu is reinvesting for growth and has higher sales as a result. However, despite the promising trends, the stock has fallen 11% over the last five years, so there might be an opportunity here for astute investors. So we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the trends look encouraging.

One final note, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Baidu (including 2 which are significant) .

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.

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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.
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