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Returns At MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) Appear To Be Weighed Down

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If you're looking for a multi-bagger, there's a few things to keep an eye out for. Firstly, we'll want to see a proven return on capital employed (ROCE) that is increasing, and secondly, an expanding base 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 MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) looks decent, right now, so lets see what the trend of returns can tell us.

What is Return On Capital Employed (ROCE)?

If you haven't worked with ROCE before, it measures the 'return' (pre-tax profit) a company generates from capital employed in its business. Analysts use this formula to calculate it for MSA Safety:

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

0.14 = US$230m ÷ (US$2.0b - US$318m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

Therefore, MSA Safety has an ROCE of 14%. On its own, that's a standard return, however it's much better than the 7.8% generated by the Commercial Services industry.

Check out our latest analysis for MSA Safety

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In the above chart we have measured MSA Safety's prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you'd like, you can check out the forecasts from the analysts covering MSA Safety here for free.

What Does the ROCE Trend For MSA Safety Tell Us?

The trend of ROCE doesn't stand out much, but returns on a whole are decent. The company has employed 37% more capital in the last five years, and the returns on that capital have remained stable at 14%. 14% is a pretty standard return, and it provides some comfort knowing that MSA Safety has consistently earned this amount. Over long periods of time, returns like these might not be too exciting, but with consistency they can pay off in terms of share price returns.

The Bottom Line

The main thing to remember is that MSA Safety has proven its ability to continually reinvest at respectable rates of return. On top of that, the stock has rewarded shareholders with a remarkable 200% 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.

On a separate note, we've found 2 warning signs for MSA Safety you'll probably want to know about.

While MSA Safety may not currently earn the highest returns, we've compiled a list of companies that currently earn more than 25% return on equity. Check out this free list here.

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.

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

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