# Gulf Oil Lubricants India Limited (NSE:GULFOILLUB): A Look At Return On Capital

Buying Gulf Oil Lubricants India makes you a partial owner of the company. As a result, your investment is being put to work to fund operations and if you want to earn an attractive return on your investment, the business needs to be making an adequate amount of money from the funds you provide. This is because the actual cash flow generated by the business dictates the potential for income (dividends) and capital appreciation (price increases), which are the two ways to achieve positive returns when buying a stock. Thus, to understand how your money can grow by investing in Gulf Oil Lubricants India, you need to look at what the company returns to owners for the use of their capital, which can be done in many ways but today we will use return on capital employed (ROCE).

### ROCE: Explanation and Calculation

Choosing to invest in Gulf Oil Lubricants India comes at the cost of investing in another potentially favourable company. The cost of missing out on another opportunity comes in the form of the potential long term gain you could’ve received, which is dependent on the gap between the return on capital you could’ve achieved and that of the company you invested in. Hence, capital returns are very important, and should be examined before you invest in conjunction with a certain benchmark that represents the minimum return you require to be compensated for the risk of missing out on other potentially lucrative investments. To determine Gulf Oil Lubricants India’s capital return we will use ROCE, which tells us how much the company makes from the capital employed in their operations (for things like machinery, wages etc). Take a look at the formula box beneath:

ROCE Calculation for GULFOILLUB

Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) = Earnings Before Tax (EBT) ÷ (Capital Employed)

Capital Employed = (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

∴ ROCE = ₹2.5b ÷ (₹12b – ₹6.5b) = 46%

The calculation above shows that GULFOILLUB’s earnings were 46% of capital employed. A good ROCE hurdle you should aim for in your investments is 15%, which is exceeded by GULFOILLUB and means the company creates an excellent amount of earnings on capital employed. If this can be sustained with good reinvestment opportunities or dividend distributions your capital has the potential to compound extremely well over time.

### Does this mean I should invest?

Although Gulf Oil Lubricants India is in a favourable position, you should know that this could change if the company is unable to maintain a strong ROCE above the benchmark, which will depend on the behaviour of the underlying variables (EBT and capital employed). Because of this, it is important to look beyond the final value of GULFOILLUB’s ROCE and understand what is happening to the individual components. Looking three years in the past, it is evident that GULFOILLUB’s ROCE has deteriorated from 57%, indicating the company’s capital returns have declined. Conversely, the movement in the earnings variable shows a jump from ₹1.3b to ₹2.5b albeit capital employed has grown by a proportionally greater amount because of a hike in the level of total assets , indicating that the previous growth in earnings has not been able to improve ROCE because the company now needs to employ more capital to operate the business.

### Next Steps

ROCE for GULFOILLUB investors has declined in the last few years, however, the company still remains an attractive candidate that is capable of producing solid capital returns and a potentially strong return on investment. Before making any decisions, ROCE does not tell the whole picture so you need to pay attention to other fundamentals like future prospects and valuation. If you don’t pay attention to these factors you cannot be sure if the downward path is a signal to run, or just a blip in an otherwise solid return profile. Gulf Oil Lubricants India’s fundamentals can be explored with the links I’ve provided below if you are interested, otherwise you can start looking at other high-performing stocks.

1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for GULFOILLUB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for GULFOILLUB’s outlook.
2. Valuation: What is GULFOILLUB worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even if its ROCE is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether GULFOILLUB is currently mispriced by the market.
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.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.