Robust Earnings May Not Tell The Whole Story For DRB-HICOM Berhad (KLSE:DRBHCOM)

By
Simply Wall St
Published
June 07, 2021
KLSE:DRBHCOM
Source: Shutterstock

Despite posting some strong earnings, the market for DRB-HICOM Berhad's (KLSE:DRBHCOM) stock hasn't moved much. We did some digging, and we found some concerning factors in the details.

Check out our latest analysis for DRB-HICOM Berhad

earnings-and-revenue-history
KLSE:DRBHCOM Earnings and Revenue History June 7th 2021

Examining Cashflow Against DRB-HICOM Berhad'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). 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. 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. 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.

Over the twelve months to March 2021, DRB-HICOM Berhad recorded an accrual ratio of 0.27. We can therefore deduce that its free cash flow fell well short of covering its statutory profit. Even though it reported a profit of RM710.4m, a look at free cash flow indicates it actually burnt through RM2.8b in the last year. Coming off the back of negative free cash flow last year, we imagine some shareholders might wonder if its cash burn of RM2.8b, this year, indicates high risk.

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.

Our Take On DRB-HICOM Berhad's Profit Performance

DRB-HICOM Berhad's accrual ratio for the last twelve months signifies cash conversion is less than ideal, which is a negative when it comes to our view of its earnings. Therefore, it seems possible to us that DRB-HICOM Berhad's true underlying earnings power is actually less than its statutory profit. On the bright side, the company showed enough improvement to book a profit this year, after losing money last year. 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. 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. At Simply Wall St, we found 2 warning signs for DRB-HICOM Berhad and we think they deserve your attention.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of DRB-HICOM Berhad'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.

If you’re looking to trade a wide range of investments, open an account with the lowest-cost* platform trusted by professionals, Interactive Brokers. Their clients from over 200 countries and territories trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted


Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.