If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? 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. This shows us that it’s a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. Having said that, while the ROCE is currently high for STV Group (LON:STVG), we aren’t jumping out of our chairs because returns are decreasing.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
For those that aren’t sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for STV Group:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)
0.26 = UK£23m ÷ (UK£123m – UK£35m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
So, STV Group has an ROCE of 26%. That’s a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 12% earned by companies in a similar industry.
In the above chart we have measured STV Group’s prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you’re interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
How Are Returns Trending?
Over the past five years, STV Group’s ROCE and capital employed have both remained mostly flat. This tells us the company isn’t reinvesting in itself, so it’s plausible that it’s past the growth phase. So while the current operations are delivering respectable returns, unless capital employed increases we’d be hard-pressed to believe it’s a multi-bagger going forward.
The Bottom Line On STV Group’s ROCE
Although is allocating it’s capital efficiently to generate impressive returns, it isn’t compounding its base of capital, which is what we’d see from a multi-bagger. Unsurprisingly then, the total return to shareholders over the last five years has been flat. In any case, the stock doesn’t have these traits of a multi-bagger discussed above, so if that’s what you’re looking for, we think you’d have more luck elsewhere.
If you want to know some of the risks facing STV Group we’ve found 3 warning signs (1 is potentially serious!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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.