Orange S.A.'s (EPA:ORA) robust recent earnings didn't do much to move the stock. However the statutory profit number doesn't tell the whole story, and we have found some factors which might be of concern to shareholders.
An Unusual Tax Situation
Orange reported a tax benefit of €848m, which is well worth noting. It's always a bit noteworthy when a company is paid by the tax man, rather than paying the tax man. We're sure the company was pleased with its tax benefit. However, our data indicates that tax benefits can temporarily boost statutory profit in the year it is booked, but subsequently profit may fall back. In the likely event the tax benefit is not repeated, we'd expect to see its statutory profit levels drop, at least in the absence of strong growth.
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.
Our Take On Orange's Profit Performance
Orange reported that it received a tax benefit, rather than paid tax, in its last report. As a result we don't think its profit result, which includes that tax-boost, is a good guide to its sustainable profit levels. Therefore, it seems possible to us that Orange's true underlying earnings power is actually less than its statutory profit. But the good news is that its EPS growth over the last three years has been very impressive. Of course, we've only just scratched the surface when it comes to analysing its earnings; one could also consider margins, forecast growth, and return on investment, among other factors. 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. To help with this, we've discovered 3 warning signs (1 is a bit concerning!) that you ought to be aware of before buying any shares in Orange.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Orange's profit. 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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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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