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. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think DCC (LON:DCC) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?
For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. The formula for this calculation on DCC is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.087 = UK£509m ÷ (UK£9.8b - UK£3.9b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
Therefore, DCC has an ROCE of 8.7%. On its own, that's a low figure but it's around the 8.0% average generated by the Industrials industry.
In the above chart we have measured DCC's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering DCC here for free.
So How Is DCC's ROCE Trending?
The returns on capital haven't changed much for DCC in recent years. The company has employed 57% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 8.7%. Given the company has increased the amount of capital employed, it appears the investments that have been made simply don't provide a high return on capital.
Another thing to note, DCC has a high ratio of current liabilities to total assets of 40%. 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
In summary, DCC has simply been reinvesting capital and generating the same low rate of return as before. And investors appear hesitant that the trends will pick up because the stock has fallen 29% in the last five years. All in all, the inherent trends aren't typical of multi-baggers, so if that's what you're after, we think you might have more luck elsewhere.
While DCC doesn't shine too bright in this respect, it's still worth seeing if the company is trading at attractive prices. You can find that out with our FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here