Why Mostostal Warszawa's (WSE:MSW) Earnings Are Better Than They Seem

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 27, 2021
WSE:MSW
Source: Shutterstock

Mostostal Warszawa S.A.'s (WSE:MSW) solid earnings announcement recently didn't do much to the stock price. We did some analysis to find out why and believe that investors might be missing some encouraging factors contained in the earnings.

View our latest analysis for Mostostal Warszawa

earnings-and-revenue-history
WSE:MSW Earnings and Revenue History September 28th 2021

Zooming In On Mostostal Warszawa'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. 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.

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".

For the year to June 2021, Mostostal Warszawa had an accrual ratio of -0.91. Therefore, its statutory earnings were very significantly less than its free cashflow. Indeed, in the last twelve months it reported free cash flow of zł106m, well over the zł18.6m it reported in profit. Mostostal Warszawa shareholders are no doubt pleased that free cash flow improved over the last twelve months. Having said that, there is more to the story. We can see that unusual items have impacted its statutory profit, and therefore the accrual ratio.

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

How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?

While the accrual ratio might bode well, we also note that Mostostal Warszawa's profit was boosted by unusual items worth zł4.9m in the last twelve months. While it's always nice to have higher profit, a large contribution from unusual items sometimes dampens our enthusiasm. We ran the numbers on most publicly listed companies worldwide, and it's very common for unusual items to be once-off in nature. Which is hardly surprising, given the name. Assuming those unusual items don't show up again in the current year, we'd thus expect profit to be weaker next year (in the absence of business growth, that is).

Our Take On Mostostal Warszawa's Profit Performance

In conclusion, Mostostal Warszawa's accrual ratio suggests its statutory earnings are of good quality, but on the other hand the profits were boosted by unusual items. Based on these factors, we think that Mostostal Warszawa's profits are a reasonably conservative guide to its underlying profitability. So if you'd like to dive deeper into this stock, it's crucial to consider any risks it's facing. At Simply Wall St, we found 2 warning signs for Mostostal Warszawa and we think they deserve your attention.

Our examination of Mostostal Warszawa has focussed on certain factors that can make its earnings look better than they are. But there is always more to discover if you are capable of focussing your mind on minutiae. 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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