Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) Is Investing Its Capital With Increasing Efficiency

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. 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 when we looked at the ROCE trend of Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) we really liked what we saw.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

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. The formula for this calculation on Southern Copper is:

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

0.29 = US$4.6b ÷ (US$17b – US$1.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

So, Southern Copper has an ROCE of 29%. That’s a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 18% earned by companies in a similar industry.

See our latest analysis for Southern Copper

roce

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Southern Copper 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 Southern Copper.

What Can We Tell From Southern Copper’s ROCE Trend?

Southern Copper is showing promise given that its ROCE is trending up and to the right. Looking at the data, we can see that even though capital employed in the business has remained relatively flat, the ROCE generated has risen by 70% over the last five years. So our take on this is that the business has increased efficiencies to generate these higher returns, all the while not needing to make any additional investments. It’s worth looking deeper into this though because while it’s great that the business is more efficient, it might also mean that going forward the areas to invest internally for the organic growth are lacking.

In Conclusion…

To bring it all together, Southern Copper has done well to increase the returns it’s generating from its capital employed. And with a respectable 63% awarded to those who held the stock over the last five years, you could argue that these developments are starting to get the attention they deserve. With that being said, we still think the promising fundamentals mean the company deserves some further due diligence.

If you want to know some of the risks facing Southern Copper we’ve found 2 warning signs (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you’d like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets here.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.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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By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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