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There's Been No Shortage Of Growth Recently For BlackLine's (NASDAQ:BL) Returns On Capital

Finding a business that has the potential to grow substantially is not easy, but it is possible if we look at a few key financial metrics. Amongst other things, we'll want to see two things; firstly, a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an expansion in the company's amount of capital employed. If you see this, it typically means it's a company with a great business model and plenty of profitable reinvestment opportunities. With that in mind, we've noticed some promising trends at BlackLine (NASDAQ:BL) so let's look a bit deeper.

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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for BlackLine:

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

0.0037 = US$5.5m ÷ (US$2.1b - US$610m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2024).

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So, BlackLine has an ROCE of 0.4%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Software industry average of 7.2%.

Check out our latest analysis for BlackLine

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In the above chart we have measured BlackLine'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 BlackLine .

How Are Returns Trending?

The fact that BlackLine is now generating some pre-tax profits from its prior investments is very encouraging. The company was generating losses five years ago, but now it's earning 0.4% which is a sight for sore eyes. Not only that, but the company is utilizing 332% more capital than before, but that's to be expected from a company trying to break into profitability. We like this trend, because it tells us the company has profitable reinvestment opportunities available to it, and if it continues going forward that can lead to a multi-bagger performance.

In Conclusion...

Long story short, we're delighted to see that BlackLine's reinvestment activities have paid off and the company is now profitable. And given the stock has remained rather flat over the last five years, there might be an opportunity here if other metrics are strong. That being the case, research into the company's current valuation metrics and future prospects seems fitting.

On a final note, we found 4 warning signs for BlackLine (2 don't sit too well with us) you should be aware of.

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.