It might be old fashioned, but we really like to invest in companies that make a profit, each and every year. Having said that, sometimes statutory profit levels are not a good guide to ongoing profitability, because some short term one-off factor has impacted profit levels. This article will consider whether Sinotrans' (HKG:598) statutory profits are a good guide to its underlying earnings.
We like the fact that Sinotrans made a profit of CN¥2.50b on its revenue of CN¥79.6b, in the last year. We can see in the depiction below that while it did manage to grow its revenue over the last three years, profit has been pretty flat.
Of course, when it comes to statutory profit, the devil is often in the detail, and we can get a better sense for a company by diving deeper into the financial statements. This article will discuss how unusual items have impacted Sinotrans' most recent profit results. 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.
How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?
Importantly, our data indicates that Sinotrans' profit received a boost of CN¥401m 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. We ran the numbers on most publicly listed companies worldwide, and it's very common for unusual items to be once-off in nature. And, after all, that's exactly what the accounting terminology implies. Assuming those unusual items don't show up again in the current year, we'd thus expect profit to be weaker next year (in the absence of business growth, that is).
Our Take On Sinotrans' Profit Performance
We'd posit that Sinotrans' statutory earnings aren't a clean read on ongoing productivity, due to the large unusual item. Because of this, we think that it may be that Sinotrans' statutory profits are better than its underlying earnings power. Sadly, its EPS was down over the last twelve months. The goal of this article has been to assess how well we can rely on the statutory earnings to reflect the company's potential, but there is plenty more to consider. 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. At Simply Wall St, we found 3 warning signs for Sinotrans and we think they deserve your attention.
This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Sinotrans' profit. But there is always more to discover if you are capable of focussing your mind on minutiae. Some people consider a high return on equity to be a good sign of a quality business. 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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