The Returns On Capital At C.H. Robinson Worldwide (NASDAQ:CHRW) Don't Inspire Confidence

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 02, 2021
NasdaqGS:CHRW

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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Having said that, while the ROCE is currently high for C.H. Robinson Worldwide (NASDAQ:CHRW), we aren't jumping out of our chairs because returns are decreasing.

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 C.H. Robinson Worldwide:

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

0.20 = US$673m ÷ (US$5.1b - US$1.8b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

Therefore, C.H. Robinson Worldwide has an ROCE of 20%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Logistics industry average of 9.1%.

View our latest analysis for C.H. Robinson Worldwide

roce
NasdaqGS:CHRW Return on Capital Employed April 2nd 2021

Above you can see how the current ROCE for C.H. Robinson Worldwide 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 Can We Tell From C.H. Robinson Worldwide's ROCE Trend?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at C.H. Robinson Worldwide doesn't inspire confidence. While it's comforting that the ROCE is high, five years ago it was 49%. Meanwhile, the business is utilizing more capital but this hasn't moved the needle much in terms of sales in the past 12 months, so this could reflect longer term investments. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

The Bottom Line On C.H. Robinson Worldwide's ROCE

In summary, C.H. Robinson Worldwide is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. Although the market must be expecting these trends to improve because the stock has gained 52% over the last five years. However, unless these underlying trends turn more positive, we wouldn't get our hopes up too high.

On a separate note, we've found 2 warning signs for C.H. Robinson Worldwide you'll probably want to know about.

High returns are a key ingredient to strong performance, so check out our free list ofstocks 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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