What are the early trends we should look for to identify a stock that could multiply in value over the long term? 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. In light of that, when we looked at Callaway Golf (NYSE:ELY) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
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 Callaway Golf, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.03 = US$46m ÷ (US$1.9b - US$344m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
Therefore, Callaway Golf has an ROCE of 3.0%. Ultimately, that's a low return and it under-performs the Leisure industry average of 17%.
In the above chart we have measured Callaway Golf'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 Callaway Golf here for free.
What Can We Tell From Callaway Golf's ROCE Trend?
There are better returns on capital out there than what we're seeing at Callaway Golf. Over the past five years, ROCE has remained relatively flat at around 3.0% and the business has deployed 208% more capital into its operations. This poor ROCE doesn't inspire confidence right now, and with the increase in capital employed, it's evident that the business isn't deploying the funds into high return investments.
What We Can Learn From Callaway Golf's ROCE
Long story short, while Callaway Golf has been reinvesting its capital, the returns that it's generating haven't increased. Yet to long term shareholders the stock has gifted them an incredible 117% return in the last five years, so the market appears to be rosy about its future. Ultimately, if the underlying trends persist, we wouldn't hold our breath on it being a multi-bagger going forward.
On a final note, we've found 1 warning sign for Callaway Golf that we think you should be aware of.
While Callaway Golf 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.
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