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If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. 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. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. However, after investigating Cooper Companies (NYSE:COO), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.
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. To calculate this metric for Cooper Companies, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.061 = US$609m ÷ (US$12b - US$1.7b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2022).
So, Cooper Companies has an ROCE of 6.1%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Medical Equipment industry average of 8.5%.
Above you can see how the current ROCE for Cooper Companies compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
So How Is Cooper Companies' ROCE Trending?
On the surface, the trend of ROCE at Cooper Companies doesn't inspire confidence. To be more specific, ROCE has fallen from 10% 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.
Our Take On Cooper Companies' ROCE
Even though returns on capital have fallen in the short term, we find it promising that revenue and capital employed have both increased for Cooper Companies. Furthermore the stock has climbed 56% over the last five years, it would appear that investors are upbeat about the future. So should these growth trends continue, we'd be optimistic on the stock going forward.
Cooper Companies does have some risks though, and we've spotted 4 warning signs for Cooper Companies that you might be interested in.
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.
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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.