The Return Trends At Flex (NASDAQ:FLEX) Look Promising

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 16, 2022
NasdaqGS:FLEX
Source: Shutterstock

What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? 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. So on that note, Flex (NASDAQ:FLEX) looks quite promising in regards to its trends of return on capital.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

Just to clarify if you're unsure, ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. To calculate this metric for Flex, this is the formula:

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

0.13 = US$1.1b ÷ (US$18b - US$9.6b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

So, Flex has an ROCE of 13%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Electronic industry average of 10% it's much better.

View our latest analysis for Flex

roce
NasdaqGS:FLEX Return on Capital Employed February 16th 2022

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Flex 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.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

Flex is displaying some positive trends. The data shows that returns on capital have increased substantially over the last five years to 13%. The amount of capital employed has increased too, by 44%. This can indicate that there's plenty of opportunities to invest capital internally and at ever higher rates, a combination that's common among multi-baggers.

Another thing to note, Flex has a high ratio of current liabilities to total assets of 53%. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) are funding a large portion of the business, so just be aware that this can introduce some elements of risk. Ideally we'd like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.

The Bottom Line

A company that is growing its returns on capital and can consistently reinvest in itself is a highly sought after trait, and that's what Flex has. Considering the stock has delivered 4.3% to its stockholders over the last five years, it may be fair to think that investors aren't fully aware of the promising trends yet. So with that in mind, we think the stock deserves further research.

If you want to continue researching Flex, you might be interested to know about the 2 warning signs that our analysis has discovered.

While Flex 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.

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