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Slowing Rates Of Return At Ryder System (NYSE:R) Leave Little Room For Excitement

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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. Having said that, from a first glance at Ryder System (NYSE:R) we aren't jumping out of our chairs at how returns are trending, but let's have a deeper look.

Understanding 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. The formula for this calculation on Ryder System is:

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

0.056 = US$582m ÷ (US$13b - US$2.3b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

Thus, Ryder System has an ROCE of 5.6%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Transportation industry average of 9.9%.

See our latest analysis for Ryder System

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In the above chart we have measured Ryder System's 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 Ryder System here for free.

What Does the ROCE Trend For Ryder System Tell Us?

There hasn't been much to report for Ryder System's returns and its level of capital employed because both metrics have been steady for the past five years. It's not uncommon to see this when looking at a mature and stable business that isn't re-investing its earnings because it has likely passed that phase of the business cycle. With that in mind, unless investment picks up again in the future, we wouldn't expect Ryder System to be a multi-bagger going forward. With fewer investment opportunities, it makes sense that Ryder System has been paying out a decent 34% of its earnings to shareholders. Given the business isn't reinvesting in itself, it makes sense to distribute a portion of earnings among shareholders.

The Bottom Line

We can conclude that in regards to Ryder System's returns on capital employed and the trends, there isn't much change to report on. And investors may be recognizing these trends since the stock has only returned a total of 40% to shareholders over the last five years. So if you're looking for a multi-bagger, the underlying trends indicate you may have better chances elsewhere.

One final note, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Ryder System (including 1 which shouldn't be ignored) .

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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