We Think That There Are Issues Underlying Emerald Resources' (ASX:EMR) Earnings

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 23, 2022
ASX:EMR
Source: Shutterstock

Emerald Resources NL's (ASX:EMR) stock was strong after they reported robust earnings. However, our analysis suggests that shareholders may be missing some factors that indicate the earnings result was not as good as it looked.

Check out our latest analysis for Emerald Resources

earnings-and-revenue-history
ASX:EMR Earnings and Revenue History March 23rd 2022

Examining Cashflow Against Emerald Resources' Earnings

Many investors haven't heard of the accrual ratio from cashflow, but it is actually a useful measure of how well a company's profit is backed up by free cash flow (FCF) during a given period. In plain english, this ratio subtracts FCF from net profit, and divides that number by the company's average operating assets over that period. This ratio tells us how much of a company's profit is not backed by free cashflow.

Therefore, it's actually considered a good thing when a company has a negative accrual ratio, but a bad thing if its accrual ratio is positive. While it's not a problem to have a positive accrual ratio, indicating a certain level of non-cash profits, a high accrual ratio is arguably a bad thing, because it indicates paper profits are not matched by cash flow. 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, Emerald Resources had an accrual ratio of 0.40. As a general rule, that bodes poorly for future profitability. To wit, the company did not generate one whit of free cashflow in that time. In the last twelve months it actually had negative free cash flow, with an outflow of AU$63m despite its profit of AU$3.26m, mentioned above. We also note that Emerald Resources' free cash flow was actually negative last year as well, so we could understand if shareholders were bothered by its outflow of AU$63m.

Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Emerald Resources.

Our Take On Emerald Resources' Profit Performance

As we have made quite clear, we're a bit worried that Emerald Resources didn't back up the last year's profit with free cashflow. For this reason, we think that Emerald Resources' statutory profits may be a bad guide to its underlying earnings power, and might give investors an overly positive impression of the company. On the bright side, the company showed enough improvement to book a profit this year, after losing money 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. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. Our analysis shows 3 warning signs for Emerald Resources (2 are a bit unpleasant!) and we strongly recommend you look at these before investing.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Emerald Resources' 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. 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.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.