Is There More To The Story Than discoverIE Group’s (LON:DSCV) Earnings Growth?

As a general rule, we think profitable companies are less risky than companies that lose money. 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. This article will consider whether discoverIE Group‘s (LON:DSCV) statutory profits are a good guide to its underlying earnings.

We like the fact that discoverIE Group made a profit of UK£16.8m on its revenue of UK£459.2m, in the last year. Happily, it has grown both its profit and revenue over the last three years, as you can see in the chart below.

View our latest analysis for discoverIE Group

LSE:DSCV Income Statement April 16th 2020
LSE:DSCV Income Statement April 16th 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 discoverIE Group 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.

In order to understand the potential for per share returns, it is essential to consider how much a company is diluting shareholders. In fact, discoverIE Group increased the number of shares on issue by 7.7% over the last twelve months by issuing new shares. That means its earnings are split among a greater number of shares. Per share metrics like EPS help us understand how much actual shareholders are benefitting from the company’s profits, while the net income level gives us a better view of the company’s absolute size. Check out discoverIE Group’s historical EPS growth by clicking on this link.

How Is Dilution Impacting discoverIE Group’s Earnings Per Share? (EPS)

discoverIE Group has improved its profit over the last three years, with an annualized gain of 250% in that time. But EPS was only up 191% per year, in the exact same period. And at a glance the 53% gain in profit over the last year impresses. On the other hand, earnings per share are only up 42% 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 discoverIE Group shareholders will want to see that EPS figure continue to increase. 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 discoverIE Group’s Profit Performance

Each discoverIE Group share now gets a meaningfully smaller slice of its overall profit, due to dilution of existing shareholders. Because of this, we think that it may be that discoverIE Group’s statutory profits are better than its underlying earnings power. But the good news is that its EPS growth over the last three years has been very impressive. 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. So if you’d like to dive deeper into this stock, it’s crucial to consider any risks it’s facing. For example – discoverIE Group has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of discoverIE Group’s profit. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. 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.