Stock Analysis

We Think IEX Group's (AMS:IEX) Profit Is Only A Baseline For What They Can Achieve

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The subdued stock price reaction suggests that IEX Group N.V.'s (AMS:IEX) strong earnings didn't offer any surprises. Investors are probably missing some underlying factors which are encouraging for the future of the company.

See our latest analysis for IEX Group

ENXTAM:IEX Earnings and Revenue History May 7th 2023

Examining Cashflow Against IEX Group'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. 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. This ratio tells us how much of a company's profit is not backed by free cashflow.

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. 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. To quote a 2014 paper by Lewellen and Resutek, "firms with higher accruals tend to be less profitable in the future".

Over the twelve months to December 2022, IEX Group recorded an accrual ratio of -0.25. That implies it has very good cash conversion, and that its earnings in the last year actually significantly understate its free cash flow. In fact, it had free cash flow of €1.3m in the last year, which was a lot more than its statutory profit of €1.05m. IEX Group's free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see.

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

Our Take On IEX Group's Profit Performance

Happily for shareholders, IEX Group produced plenty of free cash flow to back up its statutory profit numbers. Based on this observation, we consider it possible that IEX Group's statutory profit actually understates its earnings potential! And it's also positive that 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. If you want to do dive deeper into IEX Group, you'd also look into what risks it is currently facing. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for IEX Group you should be mindful of and 1 of these can't be ignored.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of IEX Group'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. 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.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

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