Stock Analysis

Here's Why HITEJINRO's (KRX:000080) Statutory Earnings Are Arguably Too Conservative

KOSE:A000080
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As a general rule, we think profitable companies are less risky than companies that lose money. 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. Today we'll focus on whether this year's statutory profits are a good guide to understanding HITEJINRO (KRX:000080).

We like the fact that HITEJINRO made a profit of ₩73.1b on its revenue of ₩2.30t, in the last year.

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earnings-and-revenue-history
KOSE:A000080 Earnings and Revenue History January 6th 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. So today we'll look at what HITEJINRO's cashflow and unusual items tell us about the quality of its earnings. 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.

A Closer Look At HITEJINRO's Earnings

As finance nerds would already know, the accrual ratio from cashflow is a key measure for assessing how well a company's free cash flow (FCF) matches its profit. In plain english, this ratio subtracts FCF from net profit, and divides that number by the company's average operating assets over that period. You could think of the accrual ratio from cashflow as the 'non-FCF profit ratio'.

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. 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, HITEJINRO had an accrual ratio of -0.10. That indicates that its free cash flow was a fair bit more than its statutory profit. To wit, it produced free cash flow of ₩260b during the period, dwarfing its reported profit of ₩73.1b. HITEJINRO's free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see. 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 Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit

HITEJINRO's profit was reduced by unusual items worth ₩22b in the last twelve months, and this helped it produce high cash conversion, as reflected by its unusual items. This is what you'd expect to see where a company has a non-cash charge reducing paper profits. It's never great to see unusual items costing the company profits, but on the upside, things might improve sooner rather than later. We looked at thousands of listed companies and found that unusual items are very often one-off in nature. And that's hardly a surprise given these line items are considered unusual. Assuming those unusual expenses don't come up again, we'd therefore expect HITEJINRO to produce a higher profit next year, all else being equal.

Our Take On HITEJINRO's Profit Performance

Considering both HITEJINRO's accrual ratio and its unusual items, we think its statutory earnings are unlikely to exaggerate the company's underlying earnings power. Based on these factors, we think HITEJINRO's earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. For example - HITEJINRO has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

Our examination of HITEJINRO has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. And it has passed with flying colours. 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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