IPH’s (ASX:IPH) Earnings Are Growing But Is There More To The Story?

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. In this article, we’ll look at how useful this year’s statutory profit is, when analysing IPH (ASX:IPH).

It’s good to see that over the last twelve months IPH made a profit of AU$56.1m on revenue of AU$309.0m. In the chart below, you can see that its profit and revenue have both grown over the last three years.

View our latest analysis for IPH

ASX:IPH Income Statement May 12th 2020
ASX:IPH Income Statement May 12th 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. In this article we’ll look at how IPH is impacting shareholders by issuing new shares. 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.

To understand the value of a company’s earnings growth, it is imperative to consider any dilution of shareholders’ interests. As it happens, IPH issued 8.6% more new shares over the last year. Therefore, each share now receives a smaller portion of profit. To talk about net income, without noticing earnings per share, is to be distracted by the big numbers while ignoring the smaller numbers that talk to per share value. Check out IPH’s historical EPS growth by clicking on this link.

A Look At The Impact Of IPH’s Dilution on Its Earnings Per Share (EPS).

IPH has improved its profit over the last three years, with an annualized gain of 32% in that time. And at a glance the 24% gain in profit over the last year impresses. On the other hand, earnings per share are only up 20% in that time. So you can see that the dilution has had a bit of an impact on shareholders. Therefore, the dilution is having a noteworthy influence on shareholder returns. And so, you can see quite clearly that dilution is influencing shareholder earnings.

In the long term, earnings per share growth should beget share price growth. So it will certainly be a positive for shareholders if IPH can grow EPS persistently. But on the other hand, we’d be far less excited to learn profit (but not EPS) was improving. For that reason, you could say that EPS is more important that net income in the long run, assuming the goal is to assess whether a company’s share price might grow.

Our Take On IPH’s Profit Performance

IPH shareholders should keep in mind how many new shares it is issuing, because, dilution clearly has the power to severely impact shareholder returns. Therefore, it seems possible to us that IPH’s true underlying earnings power is actually less than its statutory profit. But at least holders can take some solace from the 22% per annum growth in EPS for the last three. 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. If you want to do dive deeper into IPH, you’d also look into what risks it is currently facing. For example, we’ve discovered 3 warning signs that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of IPH.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of IPH’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.

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.