Advertisement
Australia markets closed
  • ALL ORDS

    8,050.20
    -23.90 (-0.30%)
     
  • ASX 200

    7,788.10
    -25.50 (-0.33%)
     
  • AUD/USD

    0.6467
    -0.0073 (-1.11%)
     
  • OIL

    85.45
    +0.43 (+0.51%)
     
  • GOLD

    2,360.20
    -12.50 (-0.53%)
     
  • Bitcoin AUD

    103,951.85
    -5,332.18 (-4.88%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    885.54
    0.00 (0.00%)
     
  • AUD/EUR

    0.6073
    -0.0017 (-0.29%)
     
  • AUD/NZD

    1.0885
    -0.0012 (-0.11%)
     
  • NZX 50

    11,931.32
    -2.99 (-0.03%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    18,003.49
    -304.50 (-1.66%)
     
  • FTSE

    7,995.58
    +71.78 (+0.91%)
     
  • Dow Jones

    37,983.24
    -475.84 (-1.24%)
     
  • DAX

    17,930.32
    -24.16 (-0.13%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    16,721.69
    -373.34 (-2.18%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    39,523.55
    +80.92 (+0.21%)
     

Here's What's Concerning About Aquirian's (ASX:AQN) Returns On Capital

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. One common approach is to try and find a company with returns on capital employed (ROCE) that are increasing, in conjunction with a growing amount of capital employed. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Aquirian (ASX:AQN) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

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 Aquirian is:

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

0.035 = AU$592k ÷ (AU$24m - AU$6.6m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

ADVERTISEMENT

Therefore, Aquirian has an ROCE of 3.5%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Professional Services industry average of 12%.

View our latest analysis for Aquirian

roce
roce

Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for Aquirian's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you're interested in investigating Aquirian's past further, check out this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Aquirian, we didn't gain much confidence. Around two years ago the returns on capital were 23%, but since then they've fallen to 3.5%. However, given capital employed and revenue have both increased it appears that the business is currently pursuing growth, at the consequence of short term returns. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

On a side note, Aquirian has done well to pay down its current liabilities to 28% of total assets. So we could link some of this to the decrease in ROCE. What's more, this can reduce some aspects of risk to the business because now the company's suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of its operations. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money.

The Bottom Line

While returns have fallen for Aquirian in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. These trends don't appear to have influenced returns though, because the total return from the stock has been mostly flat over the last year. So we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the trends look encouraging.

Aquirian does come with some risks though, we found 4 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 2 of those don't sit too well with us...

For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.

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.

Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here