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Returns On Capital At Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE:PNW) Paint A Concerning Picture

·2 min read

Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? 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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE:PNW) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.

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. The formula for this calculation on Pinnacle West Capital is:

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

0.046 = US$865m ÷ (US$20b - US$1.3b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

Thus, Pinnacle West Capital has an ROCE of 4.6%. Even though it's in line with the industry average of 4.5%, it's still a low return by itself.

See our latest analysis for Pinnacle West Capital

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Pinnacle West Capital 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 Pinnacle West Capital.

The Trend Of ROCE

In terms of Pinnacle West Capital's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 6.2%, but since then they've fallen to 4.6%. On the other hand, the company has been employing more capital without a corresponding improvement in sales in the last year, which could suggest these investments are longer term plays. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

In Conclusion...

Bringing it all together, while we're somewhat encouraged by Pinnacle West Capital's reinvestment in its own business, we're aware that returns are shrinking. And with the stock having returned a mere 40% in the last five years to shareholders, you could argue that they're aware of these lackluster trends. Therefore, if you're looking for a multi-bagger, we'd propose looking at other options.

On a final note, we've found 1 warning sign for Pinnacle West Capital that we think you should be aware of.

While Pinnacle West Capital 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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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