Stock Analysis

China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings' (HKG:1123) Performance Is Even Better Than Its Earnings Suggest

SEHK:1123
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China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings Limited's (HKG:1123) robust earnings report didn't manage to move the market for its stock. Our analysis suggests that this might be because shareholders have noticed some concerning underlying factors.

See our latest analysis for China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings

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SEHK:1123 Earnings and Revenue History July 21st 2021

Examining Cashflow Against China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings' Earnings

One key financial ratio used to measure how well a company converts its profit to free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio. In plain english, this ratio subtracts FCF from net profit, and divides that number by the company's average operating assets over that period. You could think of the accrual ratio from cashflow as the 'non-FCF profit ratio'.

That means a negative accrual ratio is a good thing, because it shows that the company is bringing in more free cash flow than its profit would suggest. 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. Notably, there is some academic evidence that suggests that a high accrual ratio is a bad sign for near-term profits, generally speaking.

Over the twelve months to March 2021, China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings recorded an accrual ratio of -0.27. That implies it has very good cash conversion, and that its earnings in the last year actually significantly understate its free cash flow. Indeed, in the last twelve months it reported free cash flow of HK$130m, well over the HK$33.6m it reported in profit. China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings' free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see. However, that's not all there is to consider. We can see that unusual items have impacted its statutory profit, and therefore the accrual ratio.

Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings.

How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?

While the accrual ratio might bode well, we also note that China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings' profit was boosted by unusual items worth HK$42m in the last twelve months. We can't deny that higher profits generally leave us optimistic, but we'd prefer it if the profit were to be sustainable. We ran the numbers on most publicly listed companies worldwide, and it's very common for unusual items to be once-off in nature. Which is hardly surprising, given the name. China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings had a rather significant contribution from unusual items relative to its profit to March 2021. As a result, we can surmise that the unusual items are making its statutory profit significantly stronger than it would otherwise be.

Our Take On China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings' Profit Performance

In conclusion, China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings' accrual ratio suggests its statutory earnings are of good quality, but on the other hand the profits were boosted by unusual items. Based on these factors, it's hard to tell if China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings' profits are a reasonable reflection of its underlying profitability. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. For example - China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

Our examination of China-Hongkong Photo Products Holdings has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. 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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