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Is Marathon Petroleum Corporation's (NYSE:MPC) Recent Performance Tethered To Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

Marathon Petroleum's (NYSE:MPC) stock is up by 5.1% over the past three months. Given its impressive performance, we decided to study the company's key financial indicators as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Marathon Petroleum's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Marathon Petroleum

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Marathon Petroleum is:

39% = US$13b ÷ US$33b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.39.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

Marathon Petroleum's Earnings Growth And 39% ROE

To begin with, Marathon Petroleum has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 23% the company's ROE is quite impressive. So, the substantial 44% net income growth seen by Marathon Petroleum over the past five years isn't overly surprising.

We then compared Marathon Petroleum's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 33% in the same 5-year period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is Marathon Petroleum fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Marathon Petroleum Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Marathon Petroleum's ' three-year median payout ratio is on the lower side at 11% implying that it is retaining a higher percentage (89%) of its profits. So it looks like Marathon Petroleum is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business, which shows in its earnings growth.

Additionally, Marathon Petroleum has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 24% over the next three years. Consequently, the higher expected payout ratio explains the decline in the company's expected ROE (to 21%) over the same period.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Marathon Petroleum's performance has been quite good. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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

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.