Investors should be encouraged by capital returns from Global Industrial (NYSE:GIC)

What trends should we look for if we want to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? Typically, we will want to notice a growth trend come back on capital employed (ROCE) and at the same time, a base capital employed. If you see this, it usually means it’s a company with a great business model and lots of profitable reinvestment opportunities. So when we looked at the ROCE trend of Global Industrial (NYSE: GIC) we really liked what we saw.

What is return on capital employed (ROCE)?

If you’ve never worked with ROCE before, it measures the “yield” (pre-tax profit) a company generates from the capital used in its business. To calculate this metric for Global Industrial, here is the formula:

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

0.46 = $111 million ÷ ($446 million – $207 million) (Based on the last twelve months to March 2022).

Thereby, Global Industrial has a ROCE of 46%. This is a fantastic return and not only that, it exceeds the 14% average earned by companies in a similar industry.

NYSE: GIC Return on Capital Employed August 2, 2022

Above, you can see how Global Industrial’s current ROCE compares to its past returns on capital, but there’s little you can say about the past. If you want, you can check analyst forecasts covering Global Industrial here for free.

What is the return trend?

Global Industrial is promising given that its ROCE is up and to the right. Looking at the data, we can see that even though the capital employed in the business has remained relatively stable, the ROCE generated has increased by 172% over the past five years. It is therefore likely that the company is now reaping all the benefits of its past investments, since the capital employed has not changed much. On that front, things are looking good, so it’s worth exploring what management has been saying about upcoming growth plans.

Another thing to note, Global Industrial has a high current liabilities to total assets ratio of 46%. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) finance a large part of the business, so just be aware that this may introduce some elements of risk. Ideally, we would like this to decrease, as this would mean fewer risky bonds.

What we can learn from Global Industrial’s ROCE

To sum up, Global Industrial reaps higher returns from the same amount of capital, and that’s impressive. Given that the stock has returned a staggering 153% to shareholders over the past five years, it seems investors recognize these changes. Therefore, we think it would be worth checking whether these trends will continue.

If you want to know some of the risks that Global Industrial faces, we have found 3 warning signs (2 are a bit of a concern!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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

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This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell stocks and does not take into account your objectives or financial situation. Our goal is to bring you targeted long-term analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price-sensitive companies or qualitative materials. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Robert D. Coleman