Investors Met With Slowing Returns on Capital At Santova (JSE:SNV)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 19, 2021
JSE:SNV
Source: Shutterstock

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. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. That's why when we briefly looked at Santova's (JSE:SNV) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Santova:

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

0.17 = R111m ÷ (R1.3b - R656m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to February 2021).

Therefore, Santova has an ROCE of 17%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 6.4% generated by the Logistics industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Santova

roce
JSE:SNV Return on Capital Employed May 20th 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're interested in investigating Santova's past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Can We Tell From Santova's ROCE Trend?

While the returns on capital are good, they haven't moved much. The company has consistently earned 17% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 43% in that time. Since 17% is a moderate ROCE though, it's good to see a business can continue to reinvest at these decent rates of return. Stable returns in this ballpark can be unexciting, but if they can be maintained over the long run, they often provide nice rewards to shareholders.

Another thing to note, Santova has a high ratio of current liabilities to total assets of 50%. 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. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, it can be beneficial if this ratio is lower.

Our Take On Santova's ROCE

In the end, Santova has proven its ability to adequately reinvest capital at good rates of return. Yet over the last five years the stock has declined 20%, so the decline might provide an opening. That's why we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the fundamentals are appealing.

One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing Santova that you might find interesting.

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive returns on equity.

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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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Simply Wall St is focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of data scientists and multiple equity analysts with over two decades worth of financial markets experience between them.