JD Sports Fashion's (LON:JD.) Returns On Capital Not Reflecting Well On The Business
Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? 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. However, after briefly looking over the numbers, we don't think JD Sports Fashion (LON:JD.) has the makings of a multi-bagger going forward, but let's have a look at why that may be.
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. To calculate this metric for JD Sports Fashion, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.17 = UK£968m ÷ (UK£7.7b - UK£2.0b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2022).
Thus, JD Sports Fashion has an ROCE of 17%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 12% generated by the Specialty Retail industry.
Check out our latest analysis for JD Sports Fashion
Above you can see how the current ROCE for JD Sports Fashion compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.
What The Trend Of ROCE Can Tell Us
In terms of JD Sports Fashion's historical ROCE movements, the trend isn't fantastic. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 17% from 38% 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.
On a related note, JD Sports Fashion has decreased its current liabilities to 26% of total assets. That could partly explain why the ROCE has dropped. Effectively this means their suppliers or short-term creditors are funding less of the business, which reduces some elements of risk. Some would claim this reduces the business' efficiency at generating ROCE since it is now funding more of the operations with its own money.
What We Can Learn From JD Sports Fashion's ROCE
While returns have fallen for JD Sports Fashion in recent times, we're encouraged to see that sales are growing and that the business is reinvesting in its operations. And long term investors must be optimistic going forward because the stock has returned a huge 124% to shareholders in the last five years. So while the underlying trends could already be accounted for by investors, we still think this stock is worth looking into further.
On a final note, we've found 2 warning signs for JD Sports Fashion that we think 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.
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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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