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Returns At Adecoagro (NYSE:AGRO) Appear To Be Weighed Down

There are a few key trends to look for if we want to identify the next 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. Although, when we looked at Adecoagro (NYSE:AGRO), it didn't seem to tick all of these boxes.

What Is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. To calculate this metric for Adecoagro, this is the formula:

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

0.086 = US$215m ÷ (US$3.1b - US$563m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

So, Adecoagro has an ROCE of 8.6%. On its own, that's a low figure but it's around the 9.8% average generated by the Food industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Adecoagro

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Adecoagro compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering Adecoagro here for free.

The Trend Of ROCE

In terms of Adecoagro's historical ROCE trend, it doesn't exactly demand attention. The company has employed 52% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 8.6%. Given the company has increased the amount of capital employed, it appears the investments that have been made simply don't provide a high return on capital.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Adecoagro has been investing more capital into the business, but returns on that capital haven't increased. Unsurprisingly then, the total return to shareholders over the last five years has been flat. In any case, the stock doesn't have these traits of a multi-bagger discussed above, so if that's what you're looking for, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.

Adecoagro does come with some risks though, we found 3 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those is a bit concerning...

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.

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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