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Has SEEK (ASX:SEK) Got What It Takes To Become A Multi-Bagger?

Simply Wall St
·3-min read

Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? 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. Although, when we looked at SEEK (ASX:SEK), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.

What is 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. To calculate this metric for SEEK, this is the formula:

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

0.096 = AU$347m ÷ (AU$4.6b - AU$934m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019).

Thus, SEEK has an ROCE of 9.6%. On its own, that's a low figure but it's around the 12% average generated by the Interactive Media and Services industry.

See our latest analysis for SEEK

roce
roce

In the above chart we have a measured SEEK's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

So How Is SEEK's ROCE Trending?

The returns on capital haven't changed much for SEEK in recent years. The company has employed 31% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 9.6%. Given the company has increased the amount of capital employed, it appears the investments that have been made simply don't provide a high return on capital.

The Bottom Line On SEEK's ROCE

As we've seen above, SEEK's returns on capital haven't increased but it is reinvesting in the business. Although the market must be expecting these trends to improve because the stock has gained 71% over the last five years. However, unless these underlying trends turn more positive, we wouldn't get our hopes up too high.

On a final note, we've found 2 warning signs for SEEK that we think you should be aware of.

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.