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Returns On Capital Signal Tricky Times Ahead For Hello Group (NASDAQ:MOMO)

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To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? 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. However, after investigating Hello Group (NASDAQ:MOMO), we don't think it's current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

Understanding 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. The formula for this calculation on Hello Group is:

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

0.13 = CN¥1.9b ÷ (CN¥18b - CN¥3.0b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

So, Hello Group has an ROCE of 13%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 5.1% generated by the Interactive Media and Services industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Hello Group

roce
roce

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Hello Group 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 Hello Group.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Hello Group Tell Us?

In terms of Hello Group's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 32%, but since then they've fallen to 13%. 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.

The Key Takeaway

In summary, Hello Group is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. And investors may be expecting the fundamentals to get a lot worse because the stock has crashed 84% over the last five years. All in all, the inherent trends aren't typical of multi-baggers, so if that's what you're after, we think you might have more luck elsewhere.

If you'd like to know about the risks facing Hello Group, we've discovered 2 warning signs that you should be aware of.

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.

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