Should You Use Retech Technology’s (ASX:RTE) Statutory Earnings To Analyse It?

Statistically speaking it is less risky to invest in profitable companies than in unprofitable ones. 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. This article will consider whether Retech Technology‘s (ASX:RTE) statutory profits are a good guide to its underlying earnings.

We like the fact that Retech Technology made a profit of CN¥48.2m on its revenue of CN¥147.7m, in the last year. 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 Retech Technology

ASX:RTE Income Statement, December 25th 2019
ASX:RTE Income Statement, December 25th 2019

Importantly, statutory profits are not always the best tool for understanding a company’s true earnings power, so it’s well worth examining profits in a little more detail. Today, we’ll discuss Retech Technology’s 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.

A Closer Look At Retech Technology’s Earnings

In high finance, the key ratio used to measure how well a company converts reported profits into free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio (from cashflow). In plain english, this ratio subtracts FCF from net profit, and divides that number by the company’s average operating assets over that period. 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. While having an accrual ratio above zero is of little concern, we do think it’s worth noting when a company has a relatively high accrual ratio. 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 2019, Retech Technology had an accrual ratio of -0.11. That indicates that its free cash flow was a fair bit more than its statutory profit. To wit, it produced free cash flow of CN¥63m during the period, dwarfing its reported profit of CN¥48.2m. Retech Technology’s free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see.

Our Take On Retech Technology’s Profit Performance

As we discussed above, Retech Technology has perfectly satisfactory free cash flow relative to profit. Because of this, we think Retech Technology’s earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! And on top of that, its earnings per share increased by 6.0% in the last year. 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. At Simply Wall St, we have analyst estimates which you can view by clicking here.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Retech Technology’s profit. But there is always more to discover if you are capable of focussing your mind on minutiae. Some people consider a high return on equity to be a good sign of a quality business. 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.