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Here's What's Concerning About BGSF's (NYSE:BGSF) Returns On Capital

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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. Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing base of capital employed. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Having said that, from a first glance at BGSF (NYSE:BGSF) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for BGSF:

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

0.14 = US$15m ÷ (US$136m - US$27m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

So, BGSF has an ROCE of 14%. That's a relatively normal return on capital, and it's around the 12% generated by the Professional Services industry.

View our latest analysis for BGSF

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In the above chart we have measured BGSF's 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 The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us

On the surface, the trend of ROCE at BGSF 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. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

The Bottom Line

While returns have fallen for BGSF in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. These trends don't appear to have influenced returns though, because the total return from the stock has been mostly flat over the last five years. So we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the trends look encouraging.

One more thing: We've identified 2 warning signs with BGSF (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding these would certainly be useful.

While BGSF 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.

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