The Returns On Capital At GFM Services Berhad (KLSE:GFM) Don't Inspire Confidence

To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base 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. Having said that, from a first glance at GFM Services Berhad (KLSE:GFM) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

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 GFM Services Berhad:

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

0.096 = RM43m ÷ (RM524m - RM73m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

Thus, GFM Services Berhad has an ROCE of 9.6%. Even though it's in line with the industry average of 10%, it's still a low return by itself.

View our latest analysis for GFM Services Berhad

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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 GFM Services Berhad has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What Does the ROCE Trend For GFM Services Berhad Tell Us?

In terms of GFM Services Berhad's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 21%, but since then they've fallen to 9.6%. On the other hand, the company has been employing more capital without a corresponding improvement in sales in the last year, which could suggest these investments are longer term plays. It's worth keeping an eye on the company's earnings from here on to see if these investments do end up contributing to the bottom line.

What We Can Learn From GFM Services Berhad's ROCE

In summary, GFM Services Berhad is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. And investors appear hesitant that the trends will pick up because the stock has fallen 57% 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.

If you want to know some of the risks facing GFM Services Berhad we've found 5 warning signs (2 are a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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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