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 Interface (NASDAQ:TILE), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.
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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Interface:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.12 = US$131m ÷ (US$1.3b - US$249m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2022).
Thus, Interface has an ROCE of 12%. In absolute terms, that's a satisfactory return, but compared to the Commercial Services industry average of 8.9% it's much better.
In the above chart we have measured Interface's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Interface.
What Does the ROCE Trend For Interface Tell Us?
When we looked at the ROCE trend at Interface, we didn't gain much confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 17%, but since then they've fallen to 12%. However, given capital employed and revenue have both increased it appears that the business is currently pursuing growth, at the consequence of short term returns. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.
The Bottom Line
Even though returns on capital have fallen in the short term, we find it promising that revenue and capital employed have both increased for Interface. However, despite the promising trends, the stock has fallen 28% over the last five years, so there might be an opportunity here for astute investors. So we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the trends look encouraging.
One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing Interface that you might find interesting.
While Interface isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here