Stock Analysis

Are GS Engineering & Construction's (KRX:006360) Statutory Earnings A Good Guide To Its Underlying Profitability?

KOSE:A006360
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It might be old fashioned, but we really like to invest in companies that make a profit, each and every year. However, sometimes companies receive a one-off boost (or reduction) to their profit, and it's not always clear whether statutory profits are a good guide, going forward. In this article, we'll look at how useful this year's statutory profit is, when analysing GS Engineering & Construction (KRX:006360).

While GS Engineering & Construction was able to generate revenue of ₩10t in the last twelve months, we think its profit result of ₩305.2b was more important. The chart below shows that while revenue has fallen over the last three years, the company has moved from unprofitable to profitable.

Check out our latest analysis for GS Engineering & Construction

earnings-and-revenue-history
KOSE:A006360 Earnings and Revenue History December 7th 2020

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. Today, we'll discuss GS Engineering & Construction's free cashflow relative to its earnings, and consider what that tells us about the company. 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 GS Engineering & Construction's 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). 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.

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. 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 2020, GS Engineering & Construction recorded an accrual ratio of -0.11. That indicates that its free cash flow was a fair bit more than its statutory profit. Indeed, in the last twelve months it reported free cash flow of ₩854b, well over the ₩305.2b it reported in profit. GS Engineering & Construction's free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see.

Our Take On GS Engineering & Construction's Profit Performance

As we discussed above, GS Engineering & Construction has perfectly satisfactory free cash flow relative to profit. Because of this, we think GS Engineering & Construction's earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! Unfortunately, though, its earnings per share actually fell back over the last year. 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. Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 4 warning signs with GS Engineering & Construction, and understanding these bad boys should be part of your investment process.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of GS Engineering & Construction's profit. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. Some people consider a high return on equity to be a good sign of a quality business. 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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