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There's Been No Shortage Of Growth Recently For Traffic Technologies' (ASX:TTI) Returns On Capital

If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. 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. With that in mind, we've noticed some promising trends at Traffic Technologies (ASX:TTI) so let's look a bit deeper.

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Traffic Technologies:

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

0.14 = AU$2.2m ÷ (AU$39m - AU$24m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

Thus, Traffic Technologies has an ROCE of 14%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Infrastructure industry average of 4.3% it's much better.

See our latest analysis for Traffic Technologies

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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 Traffic Technologies, check out these free graphs here.

What Can We Tell From Traffic Technologies' ROCE Trend?

You'd find it hard not to be impressed with the ROCE trend at Traffic Technologies. The figures show that over the last five years, returns on capital have grown by 221%. That's not bad because this tells for every dollar invested (capital employed), the company is increasing the amount earned from that dollar. In regards to capital employed, Traffic Technologies appears to been achieving more with less, since the business is using 37% less capital to run its operation. If this trend continues, the business might be getting more efficient but it's shrinking in terms of total assets.

For the record though, there was a noticeable increase in the company's current liabilities over the period, so we would attribute some of the ROCE growth to that. Effectively this means that suppliers or short-term creditors are now funding 60% of the business, which is more than it was five years ago. Given it's pretty high ratio, we'd remind investors that having current liabilities at those levels can bring about some risks in certain businesses.

Our Take On Traffic Technologies' ROCE

In the end, Traffic Technologies has proven it's capital allocation skills are good with those higher returns from less amount of capital. Considering the stock has delivered 2.0% to its stockholders over the last five years, it may be fair to think that investors aren't fully aware of the promising trends yet. So exploring more about this stock could uncover a good opportunity, if the valuation and other metrics stack up.

If you want to know some of the risks facing Traffic Technologies we've found 3 warning signs (1 is significant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

While Traffic Technologies 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.