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Does NewMarket Corporation's (NYSE:NEU) Past Performance Indicate A Stronger Future?

Simply Wall St

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Measuring NewMarket Corporation's (NYSE:NEU) track record of past performance is an insightful exercise for investors. It enables us to reflect on whether the company has met or exceed expectations, which is a powerful signal for future performance. Below, I will assess NEU's recent performance announced on 31 March 2019 and compare these figures to its historical trend and industry movements.

View our latest analysis for NewMarket

How Well Did NEU Perform?

NEU's trailing twelve-month earnings (from 31 March 2019) of US$236m has jumped 26% compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, this one-year growth rate has exceeded its 5-year annual growth average of -3.1%, indicating the rate at which NEU is growing has accelerated. What's the driver of this growth? Let's see whether it is only due to industry tailwinds, or if NewMarket has experienced some company-specific growth.

NYSE:NEU Income Statement, July 1st 2019

In terms of returns from investment, NewMarket has invested its equity funds well leading to a 44% return on equity (ROE), above the sensible minimum of 20%. Furthermore, its return on assets (ROA) of 15% exceeds the US Chemicals industry of 7.1%, indicating NewMarket has used its assets more efficiently. However, its return on capital (ROC), which also accounts for NewMarket’s debt level, has declined over the past 3 years from 33% to 20%. This correlates with an increase in debt holding, with debt-to-equity ratio rising from 70% to 147% over the past 5 years.

What does this mean?

NewMarket's track record can be a valuable insight into its earnings performance, but it certainly doesn't tell the whole story. While NewMarket has a good historical track record with positive growth and profitability, there's no certainty that this will extrapolate into the future. I recommend you continue to research NewMarket to get a more holistic view of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for NEU’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for NEU’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Are NEU’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the trailing twelve months from 31 March 2019. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.