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Investors Met With Slowing Returns on Capital At 1&1 (ETR:1U1)

To find a multi-bagger stock, what are the underlying trends we should look for in a business? In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. That's why when we briefly looked at 1&1's (ETR:1U1) ROCE trend, we were pretty happy with what we saw.

Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What Is It?

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. To calculate this metric for 1&1, this is the formula:

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

0.10 = €721m ÷ (€7.7b - €695m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

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Thus, 1&1 has an ROCE of 10%. That's a relatively normal return on capital, and it's around the 8.9% generated by the Wireless Telecom industry.

Check out our latest analysis for 1&1

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In the above chart we have measured 1&1's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free analyst report for 1&1 .

The Trend Of ROCE

The trend of ROCE doesn't stand out much, but returns on a whole are decent. The company has consistently earned 10% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 53% in that time. Since 10% is a moderate ROCE though, it's good to see a business can continue to reinvest at these decent rates of return. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, 1&1 has simply been reinvesting capital steadily, at those decent rates of return. Yet over the last five years the stock has declined 52%, so the decline might provide an opening. That's why we think it'd be worthwhile to look further into this stock given the fundamentals are appealing.

One more thing, we've spotted 1 warning sign facing 1&1 that you might find interesting.

If you want to search for solid companies with great earnings, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive 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.