Statutory Earnings May Not Be The Best Way To Understand Denison Mines' (TSE:DML) True Position

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 10, 2021
TSX:DML
Source: Shutterstock

Strong earnings weren't enough to please Denison Mines Corp.'s (TSE:DML) shareholders over the last week. We did some analysis and believe that they might be concerned about some weak underlying factors.

View our latest analysis for Denison Mines

earnings-and-revenue-history
TSX:DML Earnings and Revenue History November 11th 2021

In order to understand the potential for per share returns, it is essential to consider how much a company is diluting shareholders. In fact, Denison Mines increased the number of shares on issue by 19% over the last twelve months by issuing new shares. As a result, its net income is now split between a greater number of shares. Per share metrics like EPS help us understand how much actual shareholders are benefitting from the company's profits, while the net income level gives us a better view of the company's absolute size. Check out Denison Mines' historical EPS growth by clicking on this link.

How Is Dilution Impacting Denison Mines' Earnings Per Share? (EPS)

Denison Mines was losing money three years ago. Zooming in to the last year, we still can't talk about growth rates coherently, since it made a loss last year. But mathematics aside, it is always good to see when a formerly unprofitable business come good (though we accept profit would have been higher if dilution had not been required). And so, you can see quite clearly that dilution is influencing shareholder earnings.

In the long term, if Denison Mines' earnings per share can increase, then the share price should too. But on the other hand, we'd be far less excited to learn profit (but not EPS) was improving. For the ordinary retail shareholder, EPS is a great measure to check your hypothetical "share" of the company's profit.

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.

The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit

Alongside that dilution, it's also important to note that Denison Mines' profit was boosted by unusual items worth CA$59m in the last twelve months. 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. Which is hardly surprising, given the name. Denison Mines had a rather significant contribution from unusual items relative to its profit to September 2021. All else being equal, this would likely have the effect of making the statutory profit a poor guide to underlying earnings power.

Our Take On Denison Mines' Profit Performance

In its last report Denison Mines benefitted from unusual items which boosted its profit, which could make the profit seem better than it really is on a sustainable basis. And furthermore, it went and issued plenty of new shares, ensuring that each shareholder (who did not tip more money in) now owns a smaller proportion of the company. Considering all this we'd argue Denison Mines' profits probably give an overly generous impression of its sustainable level of profitability. 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. Our analysis shows 5 warning signs for Denison Mines (1 is potentially serious!) and we strongly recommend you look at them before investing.

Our examination of Denison Mines has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. And, on that basis, we are somewhat skeptical. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. 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.

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