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Genie Energy's (NYSE:GNE) Returns Have Hit A Wall

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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'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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Genie Energy (NYSE:GNE) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

What is 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 Genie Energy, this is the formula:

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

0.093 = US$7.9m ÷ (US$194m - US$108m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

Therefore, Genie Energy has an ROCE of 9.3%. In absolute terms, that's a low return, but it's much better than the Electric Utilities industry average of 4.5%.

See our latest analysis for Genie Energy

roce
roce

While the past is not representative of the future, it can be helpful to know how a company has performed historically, which is why we have this chart above. If you want to delve into the historical earnings, revenue and cash flow of Genie Energy, check out these free graphs here.

How Are Returns Trending?

There hasn't been much to report for Genie Energy's returns and its level of capital employed because both metrics have been steady for the past five years. Businesses with these traits tend to be mature and steady operations because they're past the growth phase. With that in mind, unless investment picks up again in the future, we wouldn't expect Genie Energy to be a multi-bagger going forward.

Another point to note, we noticed the company has increased current liabilities over the last five years. This is intriguing because if current liabilities hadn't increased to 56% of total assets, this reported ROCE would probably be less than9.3% because total capital employed would be higher.The 9.3% ROCE could be even lower if current liabilities weren't 56% of total assets, because the the formula would show a larger base of total capital employed. So with current liabilities at such high levels, this effectively means the likes of suppliers or short-term creditors are funding a meaningful part of the business, which in some instances can bring some risks.

What We Can Learn From Genie Energy's ROCE

We can conclude that in regards to Genie Energy's returns on capital employed and the trends, there isn't much change to report on. Unsurprisingly, the stock has only gained 11% over the last five years, which potentially indicates that investors are accounting for this going forward. As a result, if you're hunting for a multi-bagger, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

Like most companies, Genie Energy does come with some risks, and we've found 1 warning sign that you should be aware of.

While Genie Energy 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.

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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