Stock Analysis

Returns On Capital At GDS Holdings (NASDAQ:GDS) Have Stalled

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If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think GDS Holdings (NASDAQ:GDS) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?

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 GDS Holdings:

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

0.0084 = CN¥555m ÷ (CN¥74b - CN¥8.3b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

Thus, GDS Holdings has an ROCE of 0.8%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the IT industry average of 11%.

Check out our latest analysis for GDS Holdings

NasdaqGM:GDS Return on Capital Employed May 21st 2024

Above you can see how the current ROCE for GDS Holdings 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 analyst report for GDS Holdings .

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

The returns on capital haven't changed much for GDS Holdings in recent years. The company has consistently earned 0.8% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 281% in that time. Given the company has increased the amount of capital employed, it appears the investments that have been made simply don't provide a high return on capital.

Our Take On GDS Holdings' ROCE

In conclusion, GDS Holdings has been investing more capital into the business, but returns on that capital haven't increased. Moreover, since the stock has crumbled 71% over the last five years, it appears investors are expecting the worst. All in all, the inherent trends aren't typical of multi-baggers, so if that's what you're after, we think you might have more luck elsewhere.

On a final note, we've found 3 warning signs for GDS Holdings that we think you should be aware of.

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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether GDS Holdings is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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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.