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. 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. That's why when we briefly looked at Jabil's (NYSE:JBL) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.
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. The formula for this calculation on Jabil is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.14 = US$737m ÷ (US$14b - US$9.1b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to August 2020).
So, Jabil has an ROCE of 14%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 10% generated by the Electronic industry.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Jabil 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
While the returns on capital are good, they haven't moved much. The company has consistently earned 14% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 36% in that time. Since 14% is a moderate ROCE though, it's good to see a business can continue to reinvest at these decent rates of return. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.Another thing to note, Jabil has a high ratio of current liabilities to total assets of 63%. 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 Key Takeaway
The main thing to remember is that Jabil has proven its ability to continually reinvest at respectable rates of return. Therefore it's no surprise that shareholders have earned a respectable 56% return if they held over the last five years. So while investors seem to be recognizing these promising trends, we still believe the stock deserves further research.
If you'd like to know about the risks facing Jabil, we've discovered 3 warning signs that you should be aware of.
While Jabil isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
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