Stock Analysis

Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH) Is Reinvesting At Lower Rates Of Return

NYSE:MOH
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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. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. So when we looked at Molina Healthcare (NYSE:MOH), they do have a high ROCE, but we weren't exactly elated from how returns are trending.

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. The formula for this calculation on Molina Healthcare is:

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

0.23 = US$1.6b ÷ (US$16b - US$8.5b) (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2024).

Therefore, Molina Healthcare has an ROCE of 23%. That's a fantastic return and not only that, it outpaces the average of 11% earned by companies in a similar industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Molina Healthcare

roce
NYSE:MOH Return on Capital Employed May 27th 2024

Above you can see how the current ROCE for Molina Healthcare compares to its prior returns on capital, but there's only so much you can tell from the past. If you're interested, you can view the analysts predictions in our free analyst report for Molina Healthcare .

How Are Returns Trending?

When we looked at the ROCE trend at Molina Healthcare, we didn't gain much confidence. Historically returns on capital were even higher at 37%, but they have dropped over the last five years. Meanwhile, the business is utilizing more capital but this hasn't moved the needle much in terms of sales in the past 12 months, so this could reflect longer term investments. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.

On a separate but related note, it's important to know that Molina Healthcare has a current liabilities to total assets ratio of 55%, which we'd consider pretty high. This effectively means that suppliers (or short-term creditors) are funding a large portion of the business, so just be aware that this can introduce some elements of risk. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, it can be beneficial if this ratio is lower.

The Bottom Line On Molina Healthcare's ROCE

In summary, Molina Healthcare is reinvesting funds back into the business for growth but unfortunately it looks like sales haven't increased much just yet. Investors must think there's better things to come because the stock has knocked it out of the park, delivering a 129% gain to shareholders who have held over the last five years. Ultimately, if the underlying trends persist, we wouldn't hold our breath on it being a multi-bagger going forward.

If you're still interested in Molina Healthcare it's worth checking out our FREE intrinsic value approximation for MOH to see if it's trading at an attractive price in other respects.

If you'd like to see other companies earning high returns, check out our free list of companies earning high returns with solid balance sheets here.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Molina Healthcare is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.