Here’s Why We Think Lydall’s (NYSE:LDL) Statutory Earnings Might Be Conservative

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. Today we’ll focus on whether this year’s statutory profits are a good guide to understanding Lydall (NYSE:LDL).

We like the fact that Lydall made a profit of US$7.13m on its revenue of US$854.0m, in the last year. The chart below shows how it has grown revenue over the last three years, but that profit has declined.

View our latest analysis for Lydall

NYSE:LDL Income Statement, December 16th 2019
NYSE:LDL Income Statement, December 16th 2019

Not all profits are equal, and we can learn more about the nature of a company’s past profitability by diving deeper into the financial statements. This article will focus on the impact unusual items have had on Lydall’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 Lydall’s profit beyond the statutory numbers, it’s important to note that during the last twelve months statutory profit was reduced by US$33m 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, after all, that’s exactly what the accounting terminology implies. In the twelve months to September 2019, Lydall had a big unusual items expense. All else being equal, this would likely have the effect of making the statutory profit look worse than its underlying earnings power.

Our Take On Lydall’s Profit Performance

As we discussed above, we think the significant unusual expense will make Lydall’s statutory profit lower than it would otherwise have been. Based on this observation, we consider it possible that Lydall’s statutory profit actually understates its earnings potential! Unfortunately, though, its earnings per share actually fell back over the last year. 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. 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. At Simply Wall St, we have analyst estimates which you can view by clicking here.

Today we’ve zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Lydall’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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.