Does Nu Skin Enterprises’s (NYSE:NUS) Statutory Profit Adequately Reflect Its Underlying Profit?

Many investors consider it preferable to invest in profitable companies over unprofitable ones, because profitability suggests a business is sustainable. However, sometimes companies receive a one-off boost (or reduction) to their profit, and it’s not always clear whether statutory profits are a good guide, going forward. In this article, we’ll look at how useful this year’s statutory profit is, when analysing Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE:NUS).

It’s good to see that over the last twelve months Nu Skin Enterprises made a profit of US$115.7m on revenue of US$2.52b. While it managed to grow its revenue over the last three years, its profit has moved in the other direction, as you can see in the chart below.

Check out our latest analysis for Nu Skin Enterprises

NYSE:NUS Income Statement, December 23rd 2019
NYSE:NUS Income Statement, December 23rd 2019

Of course, when it comes to statutory profit, the devil is often in the detail, and we can get a better sense for a company by diving deeper into the financial statements. This article will focus on the impact unusual items have had on Nu Skin Enterprises’s statutory earnings. 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?

For anyone who wants to understand Nu Skin Enterprises’s profit beyond the statutory numbers, it’s important to note that during the last twelve months statutory profit was reduced by US$78m due to unusual items. While deductions due to unusual items are disappointing in the first instance, there is a silver lining. We looked at thousands of listed companies and found that unusual items are very often one-off in nature. 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 Nu Skin Enterprises to produce a higher profit next year, all else being equal.

Our Take On Nu Skin Enterprises’s Profit Performance

Because unusual items detracted from Nu Skin Enterprises’s earnings over the last year, you could argue that we can expect an improved result in the current quarter. Because of this, we think Nu Skin Enterprises’s earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! Unfortunately, though, its earnings per share actually fell back over the last year. 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. 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. 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 Nu Skin Enterprises’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. 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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