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Why You Should Care About Spirax-Sarco Engineering's (LON:SPX) Strong Returns On Capital

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·2-min read
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If we want to find a stock that could multiply over the long term, what are the underlying trends we should look for? In a perfect world, we'd like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. This shows us that it's a compounding machine, able to continually reinvest its earnings back into the business and generate higher returns. That's why when we briefly looked at Spirax-Sarco Engineering's (LON:SPX) ROCE trend, we were very happy with 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. The formula for this calculation on Spirax-Sarco Engineering is:

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

0.20 = UK£280m ÷ (UK£1.7b - UK£370m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Thus, Spirax-Sarco Engineering has an ROCE of 20%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Machinery industry average of 10%.

See our latest analysis for Spirax-Sarco Engineering

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Above you can see how the current ROCE for Spirax-Sarco Engineering 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 Spirax-Sarco Engineering here for free.

The Trend Of ROCE

It's hard not to be impressed by Spirax-Sarco Engineering's returns on capital. The company has consistently earned 20% for the last five years, and the capital employed within the business has risen 117% in that time. Now considering ROCE is an attractive 20%, this combination is actually pretty appealing because it means the business can consistently put money to work and generate these high returns. If Spirax-Sarco Engineering can keep this up, we'd be very optimistic about its future.

The Bottom Line

In the end, the company has proven it can reinvest it's capital at high rates of returns, which you'll remember is a trait of a multi-bagger. And long term investors would be thrilled with the 246% return they've received over the last five years. So even though the stock might be more "expensive" than it was before, we think the strong fundamentals warrant this stock for further research.

Like most companies, Spirax-Sarco Engineering does come with some risks, and we've found 1 warning sign that you should be aware of.

High returns are a key ingredient to strong performance, so check out our free list ofstocks earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.

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.

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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