Stock Analysis

Should You Rely On E & M Computing's (TLV:EMCO) Earnings Growth?

TASE:EMCO
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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. This article will consider whether E & M Computing's (TLV:EMCO) statutory profits are a good guide to its underlying earnings.

It's good to see that over the last twelve months E & M Computing made a profit of ₪40.7m on revenue of ₪1.37b. In the chart below, you can see that its profit and revenue have both grown over the last three years, although its revenue has slipped in the last twelve months.

Check out our latest analysis for E & M Computing

earnings-and-revenue-history
TASE:EMCO Earnings and Revenue History January 7th 2021

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 E & M Computing's cashflow (when compared to its earnings) can tell us about the nature of its statutory profit. Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of E & M Computing.

Examining Cashflow Against E & M Computing's 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. The ratio shows us how much a company's profit exceeds its FCF.

As a result, a negative accrual ratio is a positive for the company, and a positive accrual ratio is a negative. That is not intended to imply we should worry about a positive accrual ratio, but it's worth noting where the accrual ratio is rather high. Notably, there is some academic evidence that suggests that a high accrual ratio is a bad sign for near-term profits, generally speaking.

For the year to September 2020, E & M Computing had an accrual ratio of -0.13. That indicates that its free cash flow was a fair bit more than its statutory profit. In fact, it had free cash flow of ₪96m in the last year, which was a lot more than its statutory profit of ₪40.7m. E & M Computing's free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see.

Our Take On E & M Computing's Profit Performance

As we discussed above, E & M Computing has perfectly satisfactory free cash flow relative to profit. Based on this observation, we consider it likely that E & M Computing's statutory profit actually understates its earnings potential! And the EPS is up 11% annually, 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. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. To help with this, we've discovered 3 warning signs (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you ought to be aware of before buying any shares in E & M Computing.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of E & M Computing'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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