Are Group 1 Automotive’s (NYSE:GPI) Statutory Earnings A Good Reflection Of Its Earnings Potential?

Statistically speaking it is less risky to invest in profitable companies than in unprofitable ones. That said, the current statutory profit is not always a good guide to a company’s underlying profitability. This article will consider whether Group 1 Automotive‘s (NYSE:GPI) statutory profits are a good guide to its underlying earnings.

It’s good to see that over the last twelve months Group 1 Automotive made a profit of US$150.8m on revenue of US$11.8b. Happily, it has grown both its profit and revenue over the last three years (though we note its profit is down over the last year).

See our latest analysis for Group 1 Automotive

NYSE:GPI Income Statement, January 1st 2020
NYSE:GPI Income Statement, January 1st 2020

Importantly, statutory profits are not always the best tool for understanding a company’s true earnings power, so it’s well worth examining profits in a little more detail. This article will discuss how unusual items have impacted Group 1 Automotive’s most recent profit results. That might leave you wondering what analysts are forecasting in terms of future profitability. Luckily, you can click here to see an interactive graph depicting future profitability, based on their estimates.

The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit

Importantly, our data indicates that Group 1 Automotive’s profit was reduced by US$51m, due to unusual items, over the last year. While deductions due to unusual items are disappointing in the first instance, there is a silver lining. When we analysed the vast majority of listed companies worldwide, we found that significant unusual items are often not repeated. And that’s hardly a surprise given these line items are considered unusual. Assuming those unusual expenses don’t come up again, we’d therefore expect Group 1 Automotive to produce a higher profit next year, all else being equal.

Our Take On Group 1 Automotive’s Profit Performance

Unusual items (expenses) detracted from Group 1 Automotive’s earnings over the last year, but we might see an improvement next year. Because of this, we think Group 1 Automotive’s earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! And on top of that, its earnings per share have grown at an extremely impressive rate over the last three years. At the end of the day, it’s essential to consider more than just the factors above, if you want to understand the company properly. Obviously, we love to consider the historical data to inform our opinion of a company. But it can be really valuable to consider what other analysts are forecasting. So feel free to check out our free graph representing analyst forecasts.

Today we’ve zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Group 1 Automotive’s profit. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. For example, many people consider a high return on equity as an indication of favorable business economics, while others like to ‘follow the money’ and search out stocks that insiders are buying. So you may wish to see this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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