Stock Analysis

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) Is Reinvesting At Lower Rates Of Return

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NYSE:ACN
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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. Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base 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. Looking at Accenture (NYSE:ACN), it does have a high ROCE right now, but lets see how returns are trending.

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

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. To calculate this metric for Accenture, this is the formula:

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

0.29 = US$8.2b ÷ (US$44b - US$15b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to November 2021).

Therefore, Accenture has an ROCE of 29%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 14% earned by companies in a similar industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Accenture

roce
NYSE:ACN Return on Capital Employed March 2nd 2022

In the above chart we have measured Accenture's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Accenture Tell Us?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Accenture doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, while the ROCE is still high, it's fallen from 44% where it was five years ago. 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.

What We Can Learn From Accenture's ROCE

Even though returns on capital have fallen in the short term, we find it promising that revenue and capital employed have both increased for Accenture. And long term investors must be optimistic going forward because the stock has returned a huge 172% to shareholders in the last five years. So should these growth trends continue, we'd be optimistic on the stock going forward.

If you'd like to know about the risks facing Accenture, we've discovered 2 warning signs that you should be aware of.

If you want to search for more stocks that have been earning high returns, check out this free list of stocks with solid balance sheets that are also earning high returns on equity.

What are the risks and opportunities for Accenture?

Accenture plc, a professional services company, provides strategy and consulting, interactive, industry X, song, and technology and operation services worldwide.

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Rewards

  • Price-To-Earnings ratio (24.8x) is below the IT industry average (28.3x)

  • Earnings are forecast to grow 7.75% per year

  • Earnings have grown 12.9% per year over the past 5 years

Risks

  • Significant insider selling over the past 3 months

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