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We Like Arrow Electronics' (NYSE:ARW) Returns And Here's How They're Trending

What trends should we look for it we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. Speaking of which, we noticed some great changes in Arrow Electronics' (NYSE:ARW) returns on capital, so let's have a look.

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 Arrow Electronics, this is the formula:

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

0.22 = US$2.1b ÷ (US$22b - US$12b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

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Therefore, Arrow Electronics has an ROCE of 22%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 13% earned by companies in a similar industry.

See our latest analysis for Arrow Electronics

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Arrow Electronics compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Arrow Electronics.

What Can We Tell From Arrow Electronics' ROCE Trend?

Arrow Electronics has not disappointed with their ROCE growth. More specifically, while the company has kept capital employed relatively flat over the last five years, the ROCE has climbed 87% in that same time. So our take on this is that the business has increased efficiencies to generate these higher returns, all the while not needing to make any additional investments. On that front, things are looking good so it's worth exploring what management has said about growth plans going forward.

On a side note, Arrow Electronics' current liabilities are still rather high at 57% of total assets. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) are funding a large portion of the business, so just be aware that this can introduce some elements of risk. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, it can be beneficial if this ratio is lower.

Our Take On Arrow Electronics' ROCE

In summary, we're delighted to see that Arrow Electronics has been able to increase efficiencies and earn higher rates of return on the same amount of capital. And investors seem to expect more of this going forward, since the stock has rewarded shareholders with a 67% return over the last five years. So given the stock has proven it has promising trends, it's worth researching the company further to see if these trends are likely to persist.

Since virtually every company faces some risks, it's worth knowing what they are, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Arrow Electronics (of which 2 are potentially serious!) that you should know about.

If you want to search for more stocks that have been earning high returns, check out this free list of stocks with solid balance sheets that are also earning 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.

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