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The Return Trends At ActiveOps (LON:AOM) Look Promising

If we want to find a potential multi-bagger, often there are underlying trends that can provide clues. Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. So when we looked at ActiveOps (LON:AOM) and its trend of ROCE, we really liked what we saw.

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

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 ActiveOps, this is the formula:

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

0.049 = UK£451k ÷ (UK£21m - UK£12m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

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So, ActiveOps has an ROCE of 4.9%. In absolute terms, that's a low return and it also under-performs the Software industry average of 9.3%.

See our latest analysis for ActiveOps

roce
AIM:AOM Return on Capital Employed December 27th 2023

Above you can see how the current ROCE for ActiveOps 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 Does the ROCE Trend For ActiveOps Tell Us?

ActiveOps has recently broken into profitability so their prior investments seem to be paying off. About five years ago the company was generating losses but things have turned around because it's now earning 4.9% on its capital. Not only that, but the company is utilizing 1,446% more capital than before, but that's to be expected from a company trying to break into profitability. This can indicate that there's plenty of opportunities to invest capital internally and at ever higher rates, both common traits of a multi-bagger.

In another part of our analysis, we noticed that the company's ratio of current liabilities to total assets decreased to 57%, which broadly means the business is relying less on its suppliers or short-term creditors to fund its operations. So shareholders would be pleased that the growth in returns has mostly come from underlying business performance. However, current liabilities are still at a pretty high level, so just be aware that this can bring with it some risks.

The Key Takeaway

Long story short, we're delighted to see that ActiveOps' reinvestment activities have paid off and the company is now profitable. And with a respectable 20% awarded to those who held the stock over the last year, you could argue that these developments are starting to get the attention they deserve. In light of that, we think it's worth looking further into this stock because if ActiveOps can keep these trends up, it could have a bright future ahead.

If you want to know some of the risks facing ActiveOps we've found 2 warning signs (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

While ActiveOps may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.

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.