We Wouldn't Rely On Mainstreet Equity's (TSE:MEQ) Statutory Earnings As A Guide

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 23, 2020

Many investors consider it preferable to invest in profitable companies over unprofitable ones, because profitability suggests a business is sustainable. That said, the current statutory profit is not always a good guide to a company's underlying profitability. In this article, we'll look at how useful this year's statutory profit is, when analysing Mainstreet Equity (TSE:MEQ).

It's good to see that over the last twelve months Mainstreet Equity made a profit of CA$68.6m on revenue of CA$149.8m. While it managed to grow its revenue over the last three years, its profit has moved in the other direction, as you can see in the chart below.

See our latest analysis for Mainstreet Equity

TSX:MEQ Earnings and Revenue History December 23rd 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. This article will discuss how unusual items have impacted Mainstreet Equity's most recent profit results. 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.

How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?

For anyone who wants to understand Mainstreet Equity's profit beyond the statutory numbers, it's important to note that during the last twelve months statutory profit gained from CA$37m worth of unusual items. While we like to see profit increases, we tend to be a little more cautious when unusual items have made a big contribution. When we analysed the vast majority of listed companies worldwide, we found that significant unusual items are often not repeated. And that's as you'd expect, given these boosts are described as 'unusual'. Mainstreet Equity had a rather significant contribution from unusual items relative to its profit to September 2020. As a result, we can surmise that the unusual items are making its statutory profit significantly stronger than it would otherwise be.

Our Take On Mainstreet Equity's Profit Performance

As previously mentioned, Mainstreet Equity's large boost from unusual items won't be there indefinitely, so its statutory earnings are probably a poor guide to its underlying profitability. As a result, we think it may well be the case that Mainstreet Equity's underlying earnings power is lower than its statutory profit. But at least holders can take some solace from the 14% EPS growth in 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. When we did our research, we found 3 warning signs for Mainstreet Equity (2 can't be ignored!) that we believe deserve your full attention.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Mainstreet Equity's profit. But there is always more to discover if you are capable of focussing your mind on minutiae. 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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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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