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. In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think AK Medical Holdings (HKG:1789) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.
Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)
Just to clarify if you're unsure, ROCE is a metric for evaluating how much pre-tax income (in percentage terms) a company earns on the capital invested in its business. The formula for this calculation on AK Medical Holdings is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.047 = CN¥105m ÷ (CN¥2.7b - CN¥418m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
Therefore, AK Medical Holdings has an ROCE of 4.7%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Medical Equipment industry average of 10%.
Check out our latest analysis for AK Medical HoldingsSEHK:1789 Return on Capital Employed September 25th 2022
Above you can see how the current ROCE for AK Medical Holdings 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 AK Medical Holdings here for free.
So How Is AK Medical Holdings' ROCE Trending?
In terms of AK Medical Holdings' historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 34%, but since then they've fallen to 4.7%. Given the business is employing more capital while revenue has slipped, this is a bit concerning. If this were to continue, you might be looking at a company that is trying to reinvest for growth but is actually losing market share since sales haven't increased.
On a side note, AK Medical Holdings has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 16% of total assets. So we could link some of this to the decrease in ROCE. Effectively this means their suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of the business, which reduces some elements of risk. Since the business is basically funding more of its operations with it's own money, you could argue this has made the business less efficient at generating ROCE.
Our Take On AK Medical Holdings' ROCE
In summary, we're somewhat concerned by AK Medical Holdings' diminishing returns on increasing amounts of capital. And long term shareholders have watched their investments stay flat over the last three years. With underlying trends that aren't great in these areas, we'd consider looking elsewhere.
Like most companies, AK Medical Holdings does come with some risks, and we've found 1 warning sign that you should be aware of.
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.
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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.