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Cogstate (ASX:CGS) Is Experiencing Growth In Returns On Capital

If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. So on that note, Cogstate (ASX:CGS) looks quite promising in regards to its trends of return on capital.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. The formula for this calculation on Cogstate is:

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

0.10 = US$4.1m ÷ (US$52m - US$12m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

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Thus, Cogstate has an ROCE of 10%. That's a relatively normal return on capital, and it's around the 9.2% generated by the Healthcare Services industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Cogstate

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roce

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Cogstate compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Cogstate for free.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Cogstate Tell Us?

We're delighted to see that Cogstate is reaping rewards from its investments and is now generating some pre-tax profits. The company was generating losses five years ago, but now it's earning 10% which is a sight for sore eyes. In addition to that, Cogstate is employing 275% more capital than previously which is expected of a company that's trying to break into profitability. This can tell us that the company has plenty of reinvestment opportunities that are able to generate higher returns.

One more thing to note, Cogstate has decreased current liabilities to 22% of total assets over this period, which effectively reduces the amount of funding from suppliers or short-term creditors. So shareholders would be pleased that the growth in returns has mostly come from underlying business performance.

What We Can Learn From Cogstate's ROCE

In summary, it's great to see that Cogstate has managed to break into profitability and is continuing to reinvest in its business. Since the stock has returned a staggering 361% to shareholders over the last five years, it looks like investors are recognizing these changes. With that being said, we still think the promising fundamentals mean the company deserves some further due diligence.

One more thing, we've spotted 2 warning signs facing Cogstate that you might find interesting.

While Cogstate isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

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.