Shareholders Shouldn’t Be Too Comfortable With Delta Manufacturing's (NSE:DELTAMAGNT) Strong Earnings

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 19, 2021
NSEI:DELTAMAGNT
Source: Shutterstock

Despite posting strong earnings, Delta Manufacturing Limited's (NSE:DELTAMAGNT) stock didn't move much over the last week. We looked deeper into the numbers and found that shareholders might be concerned with some underlying weaknesses.

View our latest analysis for Delta Manufacturing

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NSEI:DELTAMAGNT Earnings and Revenue History November 20th 2021

Examining Cashflow Against Delta Manufacturing's Earnings

Many investors haven't heard of the accrual ratio from cashflow, but it is actually a useful measure of how well a company's profit is backed up by free cash flow (FCF) during a given period. The accrual ratio subtracts the FCF from the profit for a given period, and divides the result by the average operating assets of the company over that time. The ratio shows us how much a company's profit exceeds its FCF.

Therefore, it's actually considered a good thing when a company has a negative accrual ratio, but a bad thing if its accrual ratio is positive. 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. That's because some academic studies have suggested that high accruals ratios tend to lead to lower profit or less profit growth.

Over the twelve months to September 2021, Delta Manufacturing recorded an accrual ratio of 0.28. Unfortunately, that means its free cash flow fell significantly short of its reported profits. To wit, it produced free cash flow of ₹3.7m during the period, falling well short of its reported profit of ₹239.2m. Delta Manufacturing shareholders will no doubt be hoping that its free cash flow bounces back next year, since it was down over the last twelve months. Having said that, there is more to the story. The accrual ratio is reflecting the impact of unusual items on statutory profit, at least in part. The good news for shareholders is that Delta Manufacturing's accrual ratio was much better last year, so this year's poor reading might simply be a case of a short term mismatch between profit and FCF. As a result, some shareholders may be looking for stronger cash conversion in the current year.

Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Delta Manufacturing.

How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?

The fact that the company had unusual items boosting profit by ₹266m, in the last year, probably goes some way to explain why its accrual ratio was so weak. 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'. Delta Manufacturing had a rather significant contribution from unusual items relative to its profit to September 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 Delta Manufacturing's Profit Performance

Delta Manufacturing had a weak accrual ratio, but its profit did receive a boost from unusual items. For the reasons mentioned above, we think that a perfunctory glance at Delta Manufacturing's statutory profits might make it look better than it really is on an underlying level. 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. Our analysis shows 4 warning signs for Delta Manufacturing (2 are a bit unpleasant!) and we strongly recommend you look at these bad boys before investing.

Our examination of Delta Manufacturing has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. And, on that basis, we are somewhat skeptical. 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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