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Here's What To Make Of Synectics' (LON:SNX) Decelerating Rates Of Return

Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. 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. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. In light of that, when we looked at Synectics (LON:SNX) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?

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 Synectics, this is the formula:

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

0.073 = UK£3.1m ÷ (UK£58m - UK£16m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to November 2023).

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Thus, Synectics has an ROCE of 7.3%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Electronic industry average of 13%.

See our latest analysis for Synectics

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In the above chart we have measured Synectics' 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 analyst report for Synectics .

How Are Returns Trending?

There hasn't been much to report for Synectics' returns and its level of capital employed because both metrics have been steady for the past five years. This tells us the company isn't reinvesting in itself, so it's plausible that it's past the growth phase. With that in mind, unless investment picks up again in the future, we wouldn't expect Synectics to be a multi-bagger going forward.

In Conclusion...

In a nutshell, Synectics has been trudging along with the same returns from the same amount of capital over the last five years. And with the stock having returned a mere 1.5% in the last five years to shareholders, you could argue that they're aware of these lackluster trends. As a result, if you're hunting for a multi-bagger, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

One more thing to note, we've identified 1 warning sign with Synectics and understanding this should be part of your investment process.

For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and 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.