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If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Firstly, we'd want to identify a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and then alongside that, an ever-increasing 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. So on that note, PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ:PYPL) looks quite promising in regards to its trends of return on capital.
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. The formula for this calculation on PayPal Holdings is:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.12 = US$4.0b ÷ (US$76b - US$44b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
So, PayPal Holdings has an ROCE of 12%. By itself that's a normal return on capital and it's in line with the industry's average returns of 12%.
In the above chart we have measured PayPal Holdings' prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering PayPal Holdings here for free.
The Trend Of ROCE
PayPal Holdings is displaying some positive trends. Over the last five years, returns on capital employed have risen substantially to 12%. Basically the business is earning more per dollar of capital invested and in addition to that, 96% more capital is being employed now too. This can indicate that there's plenty of opportunities to invest capital internally and at ever higher rates, a combination that's common among multi-baggers.
Another thing to note, PayPal Holdings has a high ratio of current liabilities to total assets of 58%. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) are funding a large portion of the business, so just be aware that this can introduce some elements of risk. Ideally we'd like to see this reduce as that would mean fewer obligations bearing risks.
The Key Takeaway
In summary, it's great to see that PayPal Holdings can compound returns by consistently reinvesting capital at increasing rates of return, because these are some of the key ingredients of those highly sought after multi-baggers. And with a respectable 57% awarded to those who held the stock over the last five years, 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 PayPal Holdings can keep these trends up, it could have a bright future ahead.
One more thing to note, we've identified 2 warning signs with PayPal Holdings and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
While PayPal Holdings isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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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.