Ignoring the stock price of a company, what are the underlying trends that tell us a business is past the growth phase? Businesses in decline often have two underlying trends, firstly, a declining return on capital employed (ROCE) and a declining base of capital employed. This indicates the company is producing less profit from its investments and its total assets are decreasing. Having said that, after a brief look, Stamford Tyres (SGX:S29) we aren't filled with optimism, but let's investigate further.
Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)
If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Stamford Tyres:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.056 = S$8.0m ÷ (S$258m - S$115m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2022).
So, Stamford Tyres has an ROCE of 5.6%. Even though it's in line with the industry average of 5.8%, it's still a low return by itself.
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 want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of Stamford Tyres, check out these free graphs here.
So How Is Stamford Tyres' ROCE Trending?
In terms of Stamford Tyres' historical ROCE movements, the trend doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, the ROCE was 8.6% five years ago, but since then it has dropped noticeably. Meanwhile, capital employed in the business has stayed roughly the flat over the period. Companies that exhibit these attributes tend to not be shrinking, but they can be mature and facing pressure on their margins from competition. If these trends continue, we wouldn't expect Stamford Tyres to turn into a multi-bagger.
On a separate but related note, it's important to know that Stamford Tyres has a current liabilities to total assets ratio of 45%, which we'd consider pretty high. 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, it's unfortunate that Stamford Tyres is generating lower returns from the same amount of capital. Investors haven't taken kindly to these developments, since the stock has declined 27% from where it was five years ago. With underlying trends that aren't great in these areas, we'd consider looking elsewhere.
Since virtually every company faces some risks, it's worth knowing what they are, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Stamford Tyres (of which 3 don't sit too well with us!) that you should know about.
While Stamford Tyres isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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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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