Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) Will Be Hoping To Turn Its Returns On Capital Around

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 14, 2022
NYSE:GPC
Source: Shutterstock

To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing 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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Genuine Parts:

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

0.16 = US$1.2b ÷ (US$14b - US$6.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

Thus, Genuine Parts has an ROCE of 16%. That's a relatively normal return on capital, and it's around the 15% generated by the Retail Distributors industry.

See our latest analysis for Genuine Parts

roce
NYSE:GPC Return on Capital Employed February 14th 2022

In the above chart we have measured Genuine Parts' 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 Genuine Parts.

The Trend Of ROCE

In terms of Genuine Parts' historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 25% over the last five years. Although, given both revenue and the amount of assets employed in the business have increased, it could suggest the company is investing in growth, and the extra capital has led to a short-term reduction in ROCE. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

On a side note, Genuine Parts' current liabilities are still rather high at 47% of total assets. This can bring about some risks because the company is basically operating with a rather large reliance on its suppliers or other sorts of short-term creditors. Ideally we'd like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.

The Key Takeaway

In summary, despite lower returns in the short term, we're encouraged to see that Genuine Parts is reinvesting for growth and has higher sales as a result. Furthermore the stock has climbed 46% over the last five years, it would appear that investors are upbeat about the future. So while investors seem to be recognizing these promising trends, we would look further into this stock to make sure the other metrics justify the positive view.

Genuine Parts does have some risks though, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Genuine Parts that you might be interested in.

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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