Despite posting some strong earnings, the market for Bumech S.A.'s (WSE:BMC) stock hasn't moved much. Our analysis suggests that shareholders have noticed something concerning in the numbers.
Zooming In On Bumech'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. 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 it's not a problem to have a positive accrual ratio, indicating a certain level of non-cash profits, a high accrual ratio is arguably a bad thing, because it indicates paper profits are not matched by cash flow. 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 September 2021, Bumech had an accrual ratio of 0.53. That means it didn't generate anywhere near enough free cash flow to match its profit. Statistically speaking, that's a real negative for future earnings. In fact, it had free cash flow of zł14m in the last year, which was a lot less than its statutory profit of zł67.0m. At this point we should mention that Bumech did manage to increase its free cash flow in the last twelve months The good news for shareholders is that Bumech's accrual ratio was much better last year, so this year's poor reading might simply be a case of a short term mismatch between profit and FCF. Shareholders should look for improved cashflow relative to profit in the current year, if that is indeed the case.
Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Bumech.
Our Take On Bumech's Profit Performance
As we have made quite clear, we're a bit worried that Bumech didn't back up the last year's profit with free cashflow. For this reason, we think that Bumech's statutory profits may be a bad guide to its underlying earnings power, and might give investors an overly positive impression of the company. The good news is that it earned a profit in the last twelve months, despite its previous loss. At the end of the day, it's essential to consider more than just the factors above, if you want to understand the company properly. If you want to do dive deeper into Bumech, you'd also look into what risks it is currently facing. Our analysis shows 4 warning signs for Bumech (1 is concerning!) and we strongly recommend you look at these bad boys before investing.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Bumech's profit. 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. 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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.