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Here's What Murphy USA's (NYSE:MUSA) Strong Returns On Capital Means

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Did you know there are some financial metrics that can provide clues of a potential multi-bagger? Ideally, a business will show two trends; firstly a growing return on capital employed (ROCE) and secondly, an increasing amount of capital employed. Put simply, these types of businesses are compounding machines, meaning they are continually reinvesting their earnings at ever-higher rates of return. With that in mind, the ROCE of Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) looks attractive right now, so lets see what the trend of returns can tell us.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

For those that aren't sure what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for Murphy USA:

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

0.24 = US$559m ÷ (US$2.9b - US$554m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

Thus, Murphy USA has an ROCE of 24%. In absolute terms that's a great return and it's even better than the Specialty Retail industry average of 9.7%.

View our latest analysis for Murphy USA

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In the above chart we have measured Murphy USA's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

The Trend Of ROCE

In terms of Murphy USA's history of ROCE, it's quite impressive. The company has employed 68% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 24%. Now considering ROCE is an attractive 24%, this combination is actually pretty appealing because it means the business can consistently put money to work and generate these high returns. If these trends can continue, it wouldn't surprise us if the company became a multi-bagger.

The Key Takeaway

In summary, we're delighted to see that Murphy USA has been compounding returns by reinvesting at consistently high rates of return, as these are common traits of a multi-bagger. On top of that, the stock has rewarded shareholders with a remarkable 131% return to those who've held over the last five years. So while investors seem to be recognizing these promising trends, we still believe the stock deserves further research.

If you want to know some of the risks facing Murphy USA we've found 3 warning signs (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

Murphy USA is not the only stock earning high returns. If you'd like to see more, check out our free list of companies earning high returns on equity with solid fundamentals.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.