Returns on Capital Paint A Bright Future For Want Want China Holdings (HKG:151)

Simply Wall St ·  Apr 6 20:03

If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. 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. And in light of that, the trends we're seeing at Want Want China Holdings' (HKG:151) look very promising so lets take a look.

What Is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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 Want Want China Holdings:

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

0.30 = CN¥4.9b ÷ (CN¥27b - CN¥11b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

Thus, Want Want China Holdings has an ROCE of 30%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Food industry average of 8.9%.

SEHK:151 Return on Capital Employed April 7th 2024

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Want Want China Holdings 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 analyst report for Want Want China Holdings .

What Does the ROCE Trend For Want Want China Holdings Tell Us?

You'd find it hard not to be impressed with the ROCE trend at Want Want China Holdings. We found that the returns on capital employed over the last five years have risen by 58%. That's not bad because this tells for every dollar invested (capital employed), the company is increasing the amount earned from that dollar. In regards to capital employed, Want Want China Holdings appears to been achieving more with less, since the business is using 24% less capital to run its operation. Want Want China Holdings may be selling some assets so it's worth investigating if the business has plans for future investments to increase returns further still.

On a side note, we noticed that the improvement in ROCE appears to be partly fueled by an increase in current liabilities. Effectively this means that suppliers or short-term creditors are now funding 40% of the business, which is more than it was five years ago. It's worth keeping an eye on this because as the percentage of current liabilities to total assets increases, some aspects of risk also increase.

The Bottom Line

In summary, it's great to see that Want Want China Holdings has been able to turn things around and earn higher returns on lower amounts of capital. And given the stock has remained rather flat over the last five years, there might be an opportunity here if other metrics are strong. With that in mind, we believe the promising trends warrant this stock for further investigation.

While Want Want China Holdings looks impressive, no company is worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic for 151 helps visualize whether it is currently trading for a fair price.

High returns are a key ingredient to strong performance, so check out our free list ofstocks 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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