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We Like Forward Air's (NASDAQ:FWRD) Returns And Here's How They're Trending

What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. With that in mind, the ROCE of Forward Air (NASDAQ:FWRD) looks great, so lets see what the trend can tell us.

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. To calculate this metric for Forward Air, this is the formula:

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

0.24 = US$259m ÷ (US$1.2b - US$166m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2023).

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Thus, Forward Air has an ROCE of 24%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Logistics industry average of 12%.

See our latest analysis for Forward Air

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Forward Air 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.

So How Is Forward Air's ROCE Trending?

Forward Air is displaying some positive trends. The numbers show that in the last five years, the returns generated on capital employed have grown considerably to 24%. 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 70%. This can indicate that there's plenty of opportunities to invest capital internally and at ever higher rates, a combination that's common among multi-baggers.

In Conclusion...

A company that is growing its returns on capital and can consistently reinvest in itself is a highly sought after trait, and that's what Forward Air has. And with a respectable 77% 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. So given the stock has proven it has promising trends, it's worth researching the company further to see if these trends are likely to persist.

While Forward Air looks impressive, no company is worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FWRD 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.

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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