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. Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's amount of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. So on that note, Fresnillo (LON:FRES) looks quite promising in regards to its trends of return on capital.
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 Fresnillo is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)
0.13 = US$714m ÷ (US$5.7b – US$340m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
Therefore, Fresnillo has an ROCE of 13%. In absolute terms, that's a pretty normal return, and it's somewhat close to the Metals and Mining industry average of 14%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Fresnillo compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
What Does the ROCE Trend For Fresnillo Tell Us?
Fresnillo is displaying some positive trends. The data shows that returns on capital have increased substantially over the last five years to 13%. The company is effectively making more money per dollar of capital used, and it's worth noting that the amount of capital has increased too, by 42%. The increasing returns on a growing amount of capital is common amongst multi-baggers and that's why we're impressed.
What We Can Learn From Fresnillo's ROCE
All in all, it's terrific to see that Fresnillo is reaping the rewards from prior investments and is growing its capital base. Considering the stock has delivered 1.3% to its stockholders over the last five years, it may be fair to think that investors aren't fully aware of the promising trends yet. So with that in mind, we think the stock deserves further research.
If you want to continue researching Fresnillo, you might be interested to know about the 2 warning signs that our analysis has discovered.
While Fresnillo may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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