What trends should we look for it we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base of capital employed. Ultimately, this demonstrates that it's a business that is reinvesting profits at increasing rates of return. In light of that, when we looked at FONAR (NASDAQ:FONR) and its ROCE trend, we weren't exactly thrilled.
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. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for FONAR:
Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets - Current Liabilities)
0.11 = US$20m ÷ (US$198m - US$15m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
Thus, FONAR has an ROCE of 11%. That's a pretty standard return and it's in line with the industry average of 11%.
View our latest analysis for FONAR
Historical performance is a great place to start when researching a stock so above you can see the gauge for FONAR's ROCE against it's prior returns. If you'd like to look at how FONAR has performed in the past in other metrics, you can view this free graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What Can We Tell From FONAR's ROCE Trend?
When we looked at the ROCE trend at FONAR, we didn't gain much confidence. Over the last five years, returns on capital have decreased to 11% from 22% five years ago. However it looks like FONAR might be reinvesting for long term growth because while capital employed has increased, the company's sales haven't changed much in the last 12 months. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.
The Bottom Line
Bringing it all together, while we're somewhat encouraged by FONAR's reinvestment in its own business, we're aware that returns are shrinking. And investors appear hesitant that the trends will pick up because the stock has fallen 23% in the last five years. In any case, the stock doesn't have these traits of a multi-bagger discussed above, so if that's what you're looking for, we think you'd have more luck elsewhere.
If you'd like to know about the risks facing FONAR, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should be aware of.
While FONAR isn't earning the highest return, check out this free list of companies that are earning high returns on equity with solid balance sheets.
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.
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