Be Wary Of Inghams Group (ASX:ING) And Its Returns On Capital

·2 min read

Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. 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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. However, after investigating Inghams Group (ASX:ING), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

What is 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. To calculate this metric for Inghams Group, this is the formula:

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

0.097 = AU$180m ÷ (AU$2.6b - AU$730m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

So, Inghams Group has an ROCE of 9.7%. On its own that's a low return, but compared to the average of 6.6% generated by the Food industry, it's much better.

See our latest analysis for Inghams Group

roce
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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Inghams Group 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 Inghams Group here for free.

How Are Returns Trending?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Inghams Group doesn't inspire confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 9.7% from 20% five years ago. Meanwhile, the business is utilizing more capital but this hasn't moved the needle much in terms of sales in the past 12 months, so this could reflect longer term investments. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

What We Can Learn From Inghams Group's ROCE

To conclude, we've found that Inghams Group is reinvesting in the business, but returns have been falling. And with the stock having returned a mere 17% in the last five years to shareholders, you could argue that they're aware of these lackluster trends. As a result, if you're hunting for a multi-bagger, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

One final note, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Inghams Group (including 1 which is concerning) .

While Inghams Group 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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