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Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) Is Reinvesting At Lower Rates Of Return

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What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. Having said that, from a first glance at Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

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. To calculate this metric for Thor Industries, this is the formula:

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

0.19 = US$1.1b ÷ (US$7.8b - US$2.0b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2021).

Therefore, Thor Industries has an ROCE of 19%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Auto industry average of 11% it's much better.

Check out our latest analysis for Thor Industries

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In the above chart we have measured Thor Industries' 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.

What Can We Tell From Thor Industries' ROCE Trend?

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Thor Industries doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 25% over the last five years. 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. If these investments prove successful, this can bode very well for long term stock performance.

The Bottom Line On Thor Industries' ROCE

While returns have fallen for Thor Industries in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. However, total returns to shareholders over the last five years have been flat, which could indicate these growth trends potentially aren't accounted for yet by investors. So we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the trends look encouraging.

On a final note, we found 4 warning signs for Thor Industries (1 is a bit unpleasant) you should be aware of.

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive 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.

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