If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? 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. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. However, after investigating Natuzzi (NYSE:NTZ), we don’t think it’s current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.
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 Natuzzi:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)
0.0064 = €1.3m ÷ (€400m – €202m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
Thus, Natuzzi has an ROCE of 0.6%. Ultimately, that’s a low return and it under-performs the Consumer Durables industry average of 17%.
Check out our latest analysis for Natuzzi
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for Natuzzi’s ROCE against it’s prior returns. If you’d like to look at how Natuzzi has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
The Trend Of ROCE
Things have been pretty stable at Natuzzi, with its capital employed and returns on that capital staying somewhat the same for the last five years. This tells us the company isn’t reinvesting in itself, so it’s plausible that it’s past the growth phase. With that in mind, unless investment picks up again in the future, we wouldn’t expect Natuzzi to be a multi-bagger going forward.
On a side note, Natuzzi’s current liabilities are still rather high at 51% of total assets. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) are funding a large portion of the business, so just be aware that this can introduce some elements of risk. Ideally we’d like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.
What We Can Learn From Natuzzi’s ROCE
We can conclude that in regards to Natuzzi’s returns on capital employed and the trends, there isn’t much change to report on. And investors appear hesitant that the trends will pick up because the stock has fallen 43% in the last five years. Therefore based on the analysis done in this article, we don’t think Natuzzi has the makings of a multi-bagger.
On a final note, we’ve found 2 warning signs for Natuzzi that we think you should be aware of.
While Natuzzi isn’t earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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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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