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. This article will consider whether DIC Asset's (ETR:DIC) statutory profits are a good guide to its underlying earnings.
It's good to see that over the last twelve months DIC Asset made a profit of €79.1m on revenue of €217.5m. The chart below shows that revenue has improved over the last three years, and, even better, the company has moved from unprofitable to profitable.
Importantly, statutory profits are not always the best tool for understanding a company's true earnings power, so it's well worth examining profits in a little more detail. In this article we'll look at how DIC Asset is impacting shareholders by issuing new shares, as well as how unusual items have affected the income line. 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.
One essential aspect of assessing earnings quality is to look at how much a company is diluting shareholders. DIC Asset expanded the number of shares on issue by 12% over the last year. Therefore, each share now receives a smaller portion of profit. To celebrate net income while ignoring dilution is like rejoicing because you have a single slice of a larger pizza, but ignoring the fact that the pizza is now cut into many more slices. You can see a chart of DIC Asset's EPS by clicking here.
How Is Dilution Impacting DIC Asset's Earnings Per Share? (EPS)
DIC Asset was losing money three years ago. On the bright side, in the last twelve months it grew profit by 46%. But EPS was less impressive, up only 36% in that time. So you can see that the dilution has had a bit of an impact on shareholders. Therefore, the dilution is having a noteworthy influence on shareholder returns. And so, you can see quite clearly that dilution is influencing shareholder earnings.
Changes in the share price do tend to reflect changes in earnings per share, in the long run. So it will certainly be a positive for shareholders if DIC Asset can grow EPS persistently. However, if its profit increases while its earnings per share stay flat (or even fall) then shareholders might not see much benefit. For the ordinary retail shareholder, EPS is a great measure to check your hypothetical "share" of the company's profit.
How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?
Finally, we should also consider the fact that unusual items boosted DIC Asset's net profit by €37m over the last year. While it's always nice to have higher profit, a large contribution from unusual items sometimes dampens our enthusiasm. When we crunched the numbers on thousands of publicly listed companies, we found that a boost from unusual items in a given year is often not repeated the next year. Which is hardly surprising, given the name. DIC Asset had a rather significant contribution from unusual items relative to its profit to September 2020. 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 DIC Asset's Profit Performance
To sum it all up, DIC Asset got a nice boost to profit from unusual items; without that, its statutory results would have looked worse. On top of that, the dilution means that its earnings per share performance is worse than its profit performance. For the reasons mentioned above, we think that a perfunctory glance at DIC Asset's statutory profits might make it look better than it really is on an underlying level. If you want to do dive deeper into DIC Asset, you'd also look into what risks it is currently facing. Our analysis shows 4 warning signs for DIC Asset (1 is significant!) and we strongly recommend you look at these before investing.
In this article we've looked at a number of factors that can impair the utility of profit numbers, and we've come away cautious. 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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