Stock Analysis

Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE) Could Be Struggling To Allocate Capital

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NasdaqGS:FIVE
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There are a few key trends to look for if we want to identify the next multi-bagger. 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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Having said that, from a first glance at Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

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

For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. The formula for this calculation on Five Below is:

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

0.17 = US$380m ÷ (US$2.9b - US$587m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2022).

Therefore, Five Below has an ROCE of 17%. In absolute terms, that's a pretty normal return, and it's somewhat close to the Specialty Retail industry average of 18%.

Check out our latest analysis for Five Below

roce
NasdaqGS:FIVE Return on Capital Employed April 29th 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Five Below compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

The Trend Of ROCE

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Five Below, we didn't gain much confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 17% from 30% five years ago. 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.

In Conclusion...

Even though returns on capital have fallen in the short term, we find it promising that revenue and capital employed have both increased for Five Below. And long term investors must be optimistic going forward because the stock has returned a huge 236% to shareholders in the last five years. So while the underlying trends could already be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.

One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing Five Below that you might find interesting.

While Five Below 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.

What are the risks and opportunities for Five Below?

Five Below, Inc. operates as a specialty value retailer in the United States.

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Rewards

  • Earnings are forecast to grow 17.37% per year

Risks

  • High level of non-cash earnings

  • Significant insider selling over the past 3 months

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