Resilux (EBR:RES) Is Growing Earnings But Are They A Good Guide?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 14, 2020

It might be old fashioned, but we really like to invest in companies that make a profit, each and every year. However, sometimes companies receive a one-off boost (or reduction) to their profit, and it's not always clear whether statutory profits are a good guide, going forward. In this article, we'll look at how useful this year's statutory profit is, when analysing Resilux (EBR:RES).

It's good to see that over the last twelve months Resilux made a profit of €19.5m on revenue of €397.9m. Happily, it has grown both its profit and revenue over the last three years (though we note its revenue is down over the last year).

Check out our latest analysis for Resilux

ENXTBR:RES Earnings and Revenue History December 15th 2020

Of course, when it comes to statutory profit, the devil is often in the detail, and we can get a better sense for a company by diving deeper into the financial statements. So today we'll look at what Resilux's cashflow and unusual items tell us about the quality of its earnings. 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.

Examining Cashflow Against Resilux's Earnings

As finance nerds would already know, the accrual ratio from cashflow is a key measure for assessing how well a company's free cash flow (FCF) matches its profit. 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.

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. To quote a 2014 paper by Lewellen and Resutek, "firms with higher accruals tend to be less profitable in the future".

For the year to June 2020, Resilux had an accrual ratio of -0.14. Therefore, its statutory earnings were very significantly less than its free cashflow. To wit, it produced free cash flow of €48m during the period, dwarfing its reported profit of €19.5m. Notably, Resilux had negative free cash flow last year, so the €48m it produced this year was a welcome improvement. Having said that, there is more to the story. We can see that unusual items have impacted its statutory profit, and therefore the accrual ratio.

The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit

Surprisingly, given Resilux's accrual ratio implied strong cash conversion, its paper profit was actually boosted by €2.9m in unusual items. While it's always nice to have higher profit, a large contribution from unusual items sometimes dampens our enthusiasm. We ran the numbers on most publicly listed companies worldwide, and it's very common for unusual items to be once-off in nature. And that's as you'd expect, given these boosts are described as 'unusual'. Assuming those unusual items don't show up again in the current year, we'd thus expect profit to be weaker next year (in the absence of business growth, that is).

Our Take On Resilux's Profit Performance

In conclusion, Resilux's accrual ratio suggests its statutory earnings are of good quality, but on the other hand the profits were boosted by unusual items. Considering the aforementioned, we think that Resilux's profits are probably a reasonable reflection of its underlying profitability; although we'd be confident in that conclusion if we saw a cleaner set of results. 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 - Resilux has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

Our examination of Resilux has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. 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.

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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. 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.
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