Peter Warren Automotive Holdings' (ASX:PWR) Earnings Are Weaker Than They Seem

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 02, 2021
ASX:PWR
Source: Shutterstock

Peter Warren Automotive Holdings Limited's (ASX:PWR) robust earnings report didn't manage to move the market for its stock. We did some digging, and we found some concerning factors in the details.

Check out our latest analysis for Peter Warren Automotive Holdings

earnings-and-revenue-history
ASX:PWR Earnings and Revenue History September 2nd 2021

Zooming In On Peter Warren Automotive Holdings' Earnings

One key financial ratio used to measure how well a company converts its profit to free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio. 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.

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 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 2021, Peter Warren Automotive Holdings had an accrual ratio of 0.23. We can therefore deduce that its free cash flow fell well short of covering its statutory profit. In the last twelve months it actually had negative free cash flow, with an outflow of AU$69m despite its profit of AU$37.5m, mentioned above. We saw that FCF was AU$71m a year ago though, so Peter Warren Automotive Holdings has at least been able to generate positive FCF in the past. The good news for shareholders is that Peter Warren Automotive Holdings' accrual ratio was much better last year, so this year's poor reading might simply be a case of a short term mismatch between profit and FCF. Shareholders should look for improved cashflow relative to profit in the current year, if that is indeed the case.

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 Peter Warren Automotive Holdings' Profit Performance

Peter Warren Automotive Holdings' accrual ratio for the last twelve months signifies cash conversion is less than ideal, which is a negative when it comes to our view of its earnings. Therefore, it seems possible to us that Peter Warren Automotive Holdings' true underlying earnings power is actually less than its statutory profit. But the good news is that its EPS growth over the last three years has been very impressive. The goal of this article has been to assess how well we can rely on the statutory earnings to reflect the company's potential, but there is plenty more to consider. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. Be aware that Peter Warren Automotive Holdings is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis and 1 of those makes us a bit uncomfortable...

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Peter Warren Automotive Holdings' 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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