Here’s Why BioSpecifics Technologies’s (NASDAQ:BSTC) Statutory Earnings Are Arguably Too Conservative

It might be old fashioned, but we really like to invest in companies that make a profit, each and every year. Having said that, sometimes statutory profit levels are not a good guide to ongoing profitability, because some short term one-off factor has impacted profit levels. Today we’ll focus on whether this year’s statutory profits are a good guide to understanding BioSpecifics Technologies (NASDAQ:BSTC).

It’s good to see that over the last twelve months BioSpecifics Technologies made a profit of US$18.2m on revenue of US$34.8m. 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).

Check out our latest analysis for BioSpecifics Technologies

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NasdaqGM:BSTC Earnings and Revenue History September 9th 2020

Of course, it is only sensible to look beyond the statutory profits and question how well those numbers represent the sustainable earnings power of the business. Today, we’ll discuss BioSpecifics Technologies’ free cashflow relative to its earnings, and consider what that tells us about the company. 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.

Examining Cashflow Against BioSpecifics Technologies’ Earnings

As finance nerds would already know, the accrual ratio from cashflow is a key measure for assessing how well a company’s free cash flow (FCF) matches its profit. The accrual ratio subtracts the FCF from the profit for a given period, and divides the result by the average operating assets of the company over that time. The ratio shows us how much a company’s profit exceeds its FCF.

As a result, a negative accrual ratio is a positive for the company, and a positive accrual ratio is a negative. That is not intended to imply we should worry about a positive accrual ratio, but it’s worth noting where the accrual ratio is rather high. That’s because some academic studies have suggested that high accruals ratios tend to lead to lower profit or less profit growth.

For the year to June 2020, BioSpecifics Technologies had an accrual ratio of -0.32. That indicates that its free cash flow quite significantly exceeded its statutory profit. To wit, it produced free cash flow of US$27m during the period, dwarfing its reported profit of US$18.2m. BioSpecifics Technologies’ free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see.

Our Take On BioSpecifics Technologies’ Profit Performance

As we discussed above, BioSpecifics Technologies’ accrual ratio indicates strong conversion of profit to free cash flow, which is a positive for the company. Based on this observation, we consider it possible that BioSpecifics Technologies’ statutory profit actually understates its earnings potential! And the EPS is up 49% annually, over the last three years. 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 forecasting by clicking here.

Today we’ve zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of BioSpecifics Technologies’ profit. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. Some people consider a high return on equity to be a good sign of a quality business. 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.

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