Statistically speaking, it is less risky to invest in profitable companies than in unprofitable ones. That said, the current statutory profit is not always a good guide to a company's underlying profitability. In this article, we'll look at how useful this year's statutory profit is, when analysing Cpl Resources (ISE:DQ5).
While Cpl Resources was able to generate revenue of €569.3m in the last twelve months, we think its profit result of €21.0m was more important. In the chart below, you can see that its profit and revenue have both grown over the last three years.
Of course, it is only sensible to look beyond the statutory profits and question how well those numbers represent the sustainable earnings power of the business. As a result, we think it's well worth considering what Cpl Resources' cashflow (when compared to its earnings) can tell us about the nature of its statutory profit. 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.
Examining Cashflow Against Cpl Resources' 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). To get the accrual ratio we first subtract FCF from profit for a period, and then divide that number by the average operating assets for the period. You could think of the accrual ratio from cashflow as the 'non-FCF profit ratio'.
As a result, a negative accrual ratio is a positive for the company, and a positive accrual ratio is a negative. While it's not a problem to have a positive accrual ratio, indicating a certain level of non-cash profits, a high accrual ratio is arguably a bad thing, because it indicates paper profits are not matched by cash flow. 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 June 2020, Cpl Resources recorded an accrual ratio of -0.24. That indicates that its free cash flow quite significantly exceeded its statutory profit. In fact, it had free cash flow of €36m in the last year, which was a lot more than its statutory profit of €21.0m. Cpl Resources' free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see.
Our Take On Cpl Resources' Profit Performance
As we discussed above, Cpl Resources' accrual ratio indicates strong conversion of profit to free cash flow, which is a positive for the company. Because of this, we think Cpl Resources' underlying earnings potential is as good as, or possibly even better, than the statutory profit makes it seem! And on top of that, its earnings per share have grown at an extremely impressive rate over the last three years. 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. Ultimately, this article has formed an opinion based on historical data. However, it can also be great to think about what analysts are forecasting for the future. Luckily, you can check out what analysts are forecasting by clicking here.
This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Cpl Resources' profit. 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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