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Reece (ASX:REH) Will Want To Turn Around Its Return Trends

To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Reece (ASX:REH) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

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

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. The formula for this calculation on Reece is:

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

0.12 = AU$679m ÷ (AU$6.9b - AU$1.4b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2023).

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Thus, Reece has an ROCE of 12%. In absolute terms, that's a pretty normal return, and it's somewhat close to the Trade Distributors industry average of 11%.

Check out our latest analysis for Reece

roce
roce

In the above chart we have measured Reece's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Reece here for free.

So How Is Reece's ROCE Trending?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Reece, we didn't gain much confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 12% from 17% five years ago. Although, given both revenue and the amount of assets employed in the business have increased, it could suggest the company is investing in growth, and the extra capital has led to a short-term reduction in ROCE. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

Our Take On Reece's ROCE

In summary, despite lower returns in the short term, we're encouraged to see that Reece is reinvesting for growth and has higher sales as a result. And long term investors must be optimistic going forward because the stock has returned a huge 141% to shareholders in the last five years. So while the underlying trends could already be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.

While Reece doesn't shine too bright in this respect, it's still worth seeing if the company is trading at attractive prices. You can find that out with our FREE intrinsic value estimation on our platform.

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.