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. In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. However, after investigating Kimball Electronics (NASDAQ:KE), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.
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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Kimball Electronics:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.092 = US$48m ÷ (US$780m - US$257m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
So, Kimball Electronics has an ROCE of 9.2%. On its own, that's a low figure but it's around the 11% average generated by the Electronic industry.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Kimball Electronics compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Kimball Electronics here for free.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
When we looked at the ROCE trend at Kimball Electronics, we didn't gain much confidence. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 12% over the last five years. On the other hand, the company has been employing more capital without a corresponding improvement in sales in the last year, which could suggest these investments are longer term plays. It's worth keeping an eye on the company's earnings from here on to see if these investments do end up contributing to the bottom line.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, we've found that Kimball Electronics is reinvesting in the business, but returns have been falling. Although the market must be expecting these trends to improve because the stock has gained 81% over the last five years. Ultimately, if the underlying trends persist, we wouldn't hold our breath on it being a multi-bagger going forward.
One more thing, we've spotted 2 warning signs facing Kimball Electronics that you might find interesting.
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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