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Capital Allocation Trends At Johnson Service Group (LON:JSG) Aren't Ideal

What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's amount 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. Although, when we looked at Johnson Service Group (LON:JSG), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.

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. The formula for this calculation on Johnson Service Group is:

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

0.083 = UK£29m ÷ (UK£430m - UK£85m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

So, Johnson Service Group has an ROCE of 8.3%. Even though it's in line with the industry average of 8.3%, it's still a low return by itself.

View our latest analysis for Johnson Service Group

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Johnson Service Group 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.

So How Is Johnson Service Group's ROCE Trending?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Johnson Service Group, we didn't gain much confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 8.3% from 13% five years ago. However, given capital employed and revenue have both increased it appears that the business is currently pursuing growth, at the consequence of short term returns. And if the increased capital generates additional returns, the business, and thus shareholders, will benefit in the long run.

In Conclusion...

In summary, despite lower returns in the short term, we're encouraged to see that Johnson Service Group is reinvesting for growth and has higher sales as a result. However, despite the promising trends, the stock has fallen 41% over the last five years, so there might be an opportunity here for astute investors. As a result, we'd recommend researching this stock further to uncover what other fundamentals of the business can show us.

Johnson Service Group could be trading at an attractive price in other respects, so you might find our free intrinsic value estimation on our platform quite valuable.

While Johnson Service Group isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

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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