Ralph Lauren’s (NYSE:RL) Earnings Are Growing But Is There More To The Story?

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 Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL).

While Ralph Lauren was able to generate revenue of US$6.37b in the last twelve months, we think its profit result of US$450.8m was more important. As depicted below, while its revenue may have fallen over the last few years, its profit actually improved.

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NYSE:RL Income Statement, January 17th 2020
NYSE:RL Income Statement, January 17th 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. This article will discuss how unusual items have impacted Ralph Lauren’s most recent profit results. 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.

The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit

Importantly, our data indicates that Ralph Lauren’s profit was reduced by US$128m, due to unusual items, over the last year. It’s never great to see unusual items costing the company profits, but on the upside, things might improve sooner rather than later. 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 Ralph Lauren to produce a higher profit next year, all else being equal.

Our Take On Ralph Lauren’s Profit Performance

Unusual items (expenses) detracted from Ralph Lauren’s earnings over the last year, but we might see an improvement next year. Based on this observation, we consider it likely that Ralph Lauren’s statutory profit actually understates its earnings potential! And on top of that, its earnings per share have grown at an extremely impressive rate 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. 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.

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