eMedia Holdings (JSE:EMH) Hasn't Managed To Accelerate Its Returns

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 21, 2021
JSE:EMH
Source: Shutterstock

To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing amount of capital employed. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think eMedia Holdings (JSE:EMH) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

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 eMedia Holdings, this is the formula:

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

0.038 = R179m ÷ (R5.5b - R794m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

So, eMedia Holdings has an ROCE of 3.8%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Media industry average of 9.0%.

View our latest analysis for eMedia Holdings

roce
JSE:EMH Return on Capital Employed November 22nd 2021

While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you'd like to look at how eMedia Holdings has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Can We Tell From eMedia Holdings' ROCE Trend?

We're a bit concerned with the trends, because the business is applying 42% less capital than it was five years ago and returns on that capital have stayed flat. When a company effectively decreases its assets base, it's not usually a sign to be optimistic on that company. Not only that, but the low returns on this capital mentioned earlier would leave most investors unimpressed.

What We Can Learn From eMedia Holdings' ROCE

It's a shame to see that eMedia Holdings is effectively shrinking in terms of its capital base. Since the stock has declined 64% over the last five years, investors may not be too optimistic on this trend improving either. In any case, the stock doesn't have these traits of a multi-bagger discussed above, so if that's what you're looking for, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

If you want to continue researching eMedia Holdings, you might be interested to know about the 3 warning signs that our analysis has discovered.

While eMedia Holdings 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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