Here’s what to do with the decelerating rate of return on IDACORP (NYSE: IDA)

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What trends should we look for if we are to identify stocks that can multiply in value over the long term? First, we will want to see a return on capital employed (ROCE) which increases and, on the other hand, a based capital employed. Basically, it means that a business has profitable initiatives that it can keep reinvesting in, which is a hallmark of a dialing machine. However, after investigation IDACORP (NYSE: IDA), we don’t think current trends fit the mold of a multi-bagger.

Understanding Return on Capital Employed (ROCE)

For those who don’t know what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profit a business can generate from the capital employed in its business. The formula for this calculation on IDACORP is:

Return on capital employed = Profit before interest and taxes (EBIT) ÷ (Total assets – Current liabilities)

0.045 = US $ 308 million ÷ (US $ 7.1 billion – US $ 262 million) (Based on the last twelve months up to March 2021).

Therefore, IDACORP has a ROCE of 4.5%. On its own, this is a low return on capital, but it is in line with the industry average returns of 4.6%.

Discover our latest analysis for IDACORP

NYSE: IDA Return on Capital Employed July 3rd 2021

Above you can see how IDACORP’s current ROCE compares to its previous returns on capital, but there is little you can say about the past. If you wish, you can consult the forecasts of IDACORP analysts here for free.

What the ROCE trend can tell us

Over the past five years, IDACORP’s ROCE and capital employed have both remained broadly stable. This tells us that the company is not reinvesting in itself, so it is plausible that it has passed the growth phase. So unless we see a substantial change at IDACORP in terms of ROCE and additional investments, we won’t be holding our breath that this is a multi-bagger. This probably explains why IDACORP pays 60% of its income to shareholders in the form of dividends. Since the company does not reinvest in itself, it makes sense to distribute a portion of the profits among the shareholders.

In conclusion…

In short, IDACORP does not compose its income but generates stable returns on the same amount of capital employed. Unsurprisingly, the stock has only gained 37% over the past five years, potentially indicating that investors are taking this into account going forward. Therefore, if you are looking for a multi-bagger, we think you would have better luck elsewhere.

One last thing to note, we have identified 1 warning sign with IDACORP and understand that it should be part of your investment process.

If you want to look for solid businesses with great income, check out this free list of companies with good balance sheets and impressive returns on equity.

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This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell shares and does not take into account your goals or your financial situation. Our aim is to bring you long-term, targeted analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price sensitive companies or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
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