Investors Met With Slowing Returns on Capital At High Liner Foods (TSE:HLF)

·3 min read

If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. 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. 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 High Liner Foods (TSE:HLF) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

What Is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for High Liner Foods:

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

0.097 = US$63m ÷ (US$839m - US$188m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2022).

Therefore, High Liner Foods has an ROCE of 9.7%. On its own that's a low return, but compared to the average of 7.5% generated by the Food industry, it's much better.

Check out our latest analysis for High Liner Foods

roce
roce

Above you can see how the current ROCE for High Liner Foods compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering High Liner Foods here for free.

What Does the ROCE Trend For High Liner Foods Tell Us?

Things have been pretty stable at High Liner Foods, with its capital employed and returns on that capital staying somewhat the same for the last five years. Businesses with these traits tend to be mature and steady operations because they're past the growth phase. With that in mind, unless investment picks up again in the future, we wouldn't expect High Liner Foods to be a multi-bagger going forward.

Our Take On High Liner Foods' ROCE

We can conclude that in regards to High Liner Foods' returns on capital employed and the trends, there isn't much change to report on. And investors may be recognizing these trends since the stock has only returned a total of 16% to shareholders over the last five years. As a result, if you're hunting for a multi-bagger, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

On a final note, we found 2 warning signs for High Liner Foods (1 is significant) you should be aware of.

While High Liner Foods isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

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.

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