Pittler Maschinenfabrik's (FRA:PIT) Solid Profits Have Weak Fundamentals

Published
May 07, 2022
DB:PIT
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Pittler Maschinenfabrik AG's (FRA:PIT) robust earnings report didn't manage to move the market for its stock. Our analysis suggests that shareholders have noticed something concerning in the numbers.

Check out our latest analysis for Pittler Maschinenfabrik

earnings-and-revenue-history
DB:PIT Earnings and Revenue History May 7th 2022

Examining Cashflow Against Pittler Maschinenfabrik's Earnings

One key financial ratio used to measure how well a company converts its profit to free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio. The accrual ratio subtracts the FCF from the profit for a given period, and divides the result by the average operating assets of the company over that time. The ratio shows us how much a company's profit exceeds its FCF.

That means a negative accrual ratio is a good thing, because it shows that the company is bringing in more free cash flow than its profit would suggest. 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 December 2021, Pittler Maschinenfabrik had an accrual ratio of 0.21. We can therefore deduce that its free cash flow fell well short of covering its statutory profit. Over the last year it actually had negative free cash flow of €11k, in contrast to the aforementioned profit of €1.54m. It's worth noting that Pittler Maschinenfabrik generated positive FCF of €307k a year ago, so at least they've done it in the past. One positive for Pittler Maschinenfabrik shareholders is that it's accrual ratio was significantly better last year, providing reason to believe that it may return to stronger cash conversion in the future. Shareholders should look for improved cashflow relative to profit in the current year, if that is indeed the case.

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

Our Take On Pittler Maschinenfabrik's Profit Performance

Pittler Maschinenfabrik's 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. Because of this, we think that it may be that Pittler Maschinenfabrik's statutory profits are better than its underlying earnings power. On the bright side, the company showed enough improvement to book a profit this year, after losing money last year. 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. Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Pittler Maschinenfabrik you should be aware of.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Pittler Maschinenfabrik's 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.

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About DB:PIT

Pittler Maschinenfabrik

Pittler Maschinenfabrik AG, together with its subsidiaries, develops, produces, and sells precision tools in Germany and internationally.

Flawless balance sheet and good value.