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MTY Food Group (TSE:MTY) Might Be Having Difficulty Using Its Capital Effectively

If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base 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. Having said that, from a first glance at MTY Food Group (TSE:MTY) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

Understanding Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)

For those who don't know, ROCE is a measure of a company's yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for MTY Food Group:

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

0.069 = CA$131m ÷ (CA$2.3b - CA$435m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to February 2023).

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Thus, MTY Food Group has an ROCE of 6.9%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Hospitality industry average of 9.8%.

See our latest analysis for MTY Food Group

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roce

In the above chart we have measured MTY Food Group'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.

How Are Returns Trending?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at MTY Food Group, we didn't gain much confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 6.9% from 10% five years ago. 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

In summary, despite lower returns in the short term, we're encouraged to see that MTY Food Group is reinvesting for growth and has higher sales as a result. In light of this, the stock has only gained 33% over the last five years. So this stock may still be an appealing investment opportunity, if other fundamentals prove to be sound.

One more thing: We've identified 3 warning signs with MTY Food Group (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding them would certainly be useful.

While MTY Food Group 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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