Does Flowers Foods’s (NYSE:FLO) Statutory Profit Adequately Reflect Its Underlying Profit?

Broadly speaking, profitable businesses are less risky than 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 Flowers Foods‘s (NYSE:FLO) statutory profits are a good guide to its underlying earnings.

We like the fact that Flowers Foods made a profit of US$164.5m on its revenue of US$4.12b, in the last year. The chart below shows that it has grown revenue over the last three years, while profit has remained roughly flat.

See our latest analysis for Flowers Foods

NYSE:FLO Income Statement, February 8th 2020
NYSE:FLO Income Statement, February 8th 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 Flowers Foods’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.

How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?

To properly understand Flowers Foods’s profit results, we need to consider the US$52m expense attributed to unusual items. It’s never great to see unusual items costing the company profits, but on the upside, things might improve sooner rather than later. We looked at thousands of listed companies and found that unusual items are very often one-off in nature. And, after all, that’s exactly what the accounting terminology implies. If Flowers Foods doesn’t see those unusual expenses repeat, then all else being equal we’d expect its profit to increase over the coming year.

Our Take On Flowers Foods’s Profit Performance

Unusual items (expenses) detracted from Flowers Foods’s earnings over the last year, but we might see an improvement next year. Because of this, we think Flowers Foods’s earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! Of course, we’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to analysing its earnings; one could also consider margins, forecast growth, and return on investment, among other factors. Ultimately, this article has formed an opinion based on historical data. However, it can also be great to think about what analysts are forecasting for the future. Luckily, you can check out what analysts are forecsting by clicking here.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Flowers Foods’s profit. But there is always more to discover if you are capable of focussing your mind on minutiae. 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. While it might take a little research on your behalf, you may find this free collection of companies boasting high return on equity, or this list of stocks that insiders are buying to be useful.

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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