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. Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's 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. Although, when we looked at eMedia Holdings (JSE:EMH), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
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 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).
Thus, eMedia Holdings has an ROCE of 3.8%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Media industry average of 7.5%.
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for eMedia Holdings' ROCE against it's prior returns. If you're interested in investigating eMedia Holdings' past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
How Are Returns Trending?
Over the past five years, eMedia Holdings' ROCE has remained relatively flat while the business is using 42% less capital than before. This indicates to us that assets are being sold and thus the business is likely shrinking, which you'll remember isn't the typical ingredients for an up-and-coming multi-bagger. Not only that, but the low returns on this capital mentioned earlier would leave most investors unimpressed.
The Bottom Line On 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. Therefore based on the analysis done in this article, we don't think eMedia Holdings has the makings of a multi-bagger.
eMedia Holdings does have some risks though, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for eMedia Holdings that you might be interested in.
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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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