If you're not sure where to start when looking for the next multi-bagger, there are a few key trends you should keep an eye out for. 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. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. So, when we ran our eye over Array Technologies' (NASDAQ:ARRY) trend of ROCE, we liked what we saw.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?
For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Array Technologies:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.15 = US$210m ÷ (US$1.8b - US$401m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).
Thus, Array Technologies has an ROCE of 15%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Electrical industry average of 13% it's much better.
Check out our latest analysis for Array Technologies
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Array Technologies compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Array Technologies.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
The trend of ROCE doesn't stand out much, but returns on a whole are decent. The company has employed 301% more capital in the last four years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 15%. 15% is a pretty standard return, and it provides some comfort knowing that Array Technologies has consistently earned this amount. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.
One more thing to note, even though ROCE has remained relatively flat over the last four years, the reduction in current liabilities to 23% of total assets, is good to see from a business owner's perspective. This can eliminate some of the risks inherent in the operations because the business has less outstanding obligations to their suppliers and or short-term creditors than they did previously.
What We Can Learn From Array Technologies' ROCE
The main thing to remember is that Array Technologies has proven its ability to continually reinvest at respectable rates of return. Yet over the last three years the stock has declined 63%, so the decline might provide an opening. For that reason, savvy investors might want to look further into this company in case it's a prime investment.
One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Array Technologies and understanding this should be part of your investment process.
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.