CentralNic Group Plc (LON:CNIC) just reported healthy earnings but the stock price didn't move much. Investors are probably missing some underlying factors which are encouraging for the future of the company.
Examining Cashflow Against CentralNic Group's Earnings
In high finance, the key ratio used to measure how well a company converts reported profits into free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio (from cashflow). In plain english, this ratio subtracts FCF from net profit, and divides that number by the company's average operating assets over that period. This ratio tells us how much of a company's profit is not backed by free cashflow.
Therefore, it's actually considered a good thing when a company has a negative accrual ratio, but a bad thing if its accrual ratio is positive. While having an accrual ratio above zero is of little concern, we do think it's worth noting when a company has a relatively high accrual ratio. 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 June 2022, CentralNic Group had an accrual ratio of -0.24. That implies it has very good cash conversion, and that its earnings in the last year actually significantly understate its free cash flow. In fact, it had free cash flow of US$56m in the last year, which was a lot more than its statutory profit of US$6.46m. CentralNic Group shareholders are no doubt pleased that free cash flow improved over the last twelve months. Notably, the company has issued new shares, thus diluting existing shareholders and reducing their share of future earnings.
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.
In order to understand the potential for per share returns, it is essential to consider how much a company is diluting shareholders. CentralNic Group expanded the number of shares on issue by 7.5% over the last year. Therefore, each share now receives a smaller portion of profit. To talk about net income, without noticing earnings per share, is to be distracted by the big numbers while ignoring the smaller numbers that talk to per share value. Check out CentralNic Group's historical EPS growth by clicking on this link.
How Is Dilution Impacting CentralNic Group's Earnings Per Share (EPS)?
CentralNic Group was losing money three years ago. Zooming in to the last year, we still can't talk about growth rates coherently, since it made a loss last year. 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. So you can see that the dilution has had a bit of an impact on shareholders.
In the long term, if CentralNic Group's earnings per share can increase, then the share price should too. 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.
Our Take On CentralNic Group's Profit Performance
In conclusion, CentralNic Group has a strong cashflow relative to earnings, which indicates good quality earnings, but the dilution means its earnings per share are dropping faster than its profit. Based on these factors, we think that CentralNic Group's profits are a reasonably conservative guide to its underlying profitability. Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of CentralNic Group.
Our examination of CentralNic Group has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. 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.
Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.
Find out whether CentralNic Group is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.View the Free Analysis
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
CentralNic Group Plc provides domain name services worldwide.
The Snowflake is a visual investment summary with the score of each axis being calculated by 6 checks in 5 areas.
|Analysis Area||Score (0-6)|
Read more about these checks in the individual report sections or in our analysis model.
Adequate balance sheet and fair value.