Solid profit numbers didn't seem to be enough to please Raven Property Group Limited's (LON:RAV) shareholders. We think that they might be concerned about some underlying details that our analysis found.
One essential aspect of assessing earnings quality is to look at how much a company is diluting shareholders. In fact, Raven Property Group increased the number of shares on issue by 7.5% over the last twelve months by issuing new shares. As a result, its net income is now split between a greater number of shares. 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. Check out Raven Property Group's historical EPS growth by clicking on this link.
A Look At The Impact Of Raven Property Group's Dilution on Its Earnings Per Share (EPS).
We don't have any data on the company's profits from three years ago. And even focusing only on the last twelve months, we don't have a meaningful growth rate because it made a loss a year ago, too. What we do know is that while it's great to see a profit over the last twelve months, that profit would have been better, on a per share basis, if the company hadn't needed to issue shares. And so, you can see quite clearly that dilution is influencing shareholder earnings.
If Raven Property Group's EPS can grow over time then that drastically improves the chances of the share price moving in the same direction. But on the other hand, we'd be far less excited to learn profit (but not EPS) was improving. For that reason, you could say that EPS is more important that net income in the long run, assuming the goal is to assess whether a company's share price might grow.
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 Raven Property Group's profit was boosted by unusual items worth UK£80m in the last twelve months. 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. And, after all, that's exactly what the accounting terminology implies. Raven Property Group had a rather significant contribution from unusual items relative to its profit to June 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 Raven Property Group's Profit Performance
To sum it all up, Raven Property Group 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 Raven Property Group's statutory profits might make it look better than it really is on an underlying level. So while earnings quality is important, it's equally important to consider the risks facing Raven Property Group at this point in time. For example, Raven Property Group has 4 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.
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 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. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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