Fertiglobe plc's (ADX:FERTIGLB) strong earnings report was rewarded with a positive stock price move. Our analysis found some more factors that we think are good for shareholders.
Examining Cashflow Against Fertiglobe'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). To get the accrual ratio we first subtract FCF from profit for a period, and then divide that number by the average operating assets for the period. This ratio tells us how much of a company's profit is not backed by free cashflow.
That means a negative accrual ratio is a good thing, because it shows that the company is bringing in more free cash flow than its profit would suggest. 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. Notably, there is some academic evidence that suggests that a high accrual ratio is a bad sign for near-term profits, generally speaking.
For the year to December 2021, Fertiglobe had an accrual ratio of -0.21. That indicates that its free cash flow quite significantly exceeded its statutory profit. To wit, it produced free cash flow of US$1.3b during the period, dwarfing its reported profit of US$702.7m. Fertiglobe shareholders are no doubt pleased that free cash flow improved over the last twelve months.
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.
Our Take On Fertiglobe's Profit Performance
Happily for shareholders, Fertiglobe produced plenty of free cash flow to back up its statutory profit numbers. Because of this, we think Fertiglobe's underlying earnings potential is as good as, or possibly even better, than the statutory profit makes it seem! Furthermore, it has done a great job growing EPS 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. In light of this, if you'd like to do more analysis on the company, it's vital to be informed of the risks involved. For example, Fertiglobe has 2 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.
This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Fertiglobe'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.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.