PuraPharm Corporation Limited's (HKG:1498) 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.
The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit
Importantly, our data indicates that PuraPharm's profit received a boost of HK$73m in unusual items, 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 analysed the vast majority of listed companies worldwide, we found that significant unusual items are often not repeated. And that's as you'd expect, given these boosts are described as 'unusual'. We can see that PuraPharm's positive unusual items were quite significant relative to its profit in the year to December 2020. All else being equal, this would likely have the effect of making the statutory profit a poor guide to underlying earnings power.
Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of PuraPharm.
Our Take On PuraPharm's Profit Performance
As previously mentioned, PuraPharm's large boost from unusual items won't be there indefinitely, so its statutory earnings are probably a poor guide to its underlying profitability. As a result, we think it may well be the case that PuraPharm's underlying earnings power is lower than its statutory profit. On the bright side, the company showed enough improvement to book a profit this year, after losing money last year. 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. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. You'd be interested to know, that we found 3 warning signs for PuraPharm and you'll want to know about these.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of PuraPharm'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. 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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