It might be old fashioned, but we really like to invest in companies that make a profit, each and every year. 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 Second Chance Properties (SGX:528).
While Second Chance Properties was able to generate revenue of S$24.0m in the last twelve months, we think its profit result of S$4.45m was more important. In the last few years both its revenue and its profit have fallen, as you can see in the chart below.
Of course, when it comes to statutory profit, the devil is often in the detail, and we can get a better sense for a company by diving deeper into the financial statements. This article, will discuss how unusual items and a tax benefit have impacted Second Chance Properties' most recent bottom line results. Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Second Chance Properties.
The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit
To properly understand Second Chance Properties' profit results, we need to consider the S$5.1m expense attributed to unusual items. While deductions due to unusual items are disappointing in the first instance, there is a silver lining. When we analysed the vast majority of listed companies worldwide, we found that significant unusual items are often not repeated. And that's hardly a surprise given these line items are considered unusual. In the twelve months to August 2020, Second Chance Properties had a big unusual items expense. As a result, we can surmise that the unusual items made its statutory profit significantly weaker than it would otherwise be.
An Unusual Tax Situation
Just as we noted the unusual items, we must inform you that Second Chance Properties received a tax benefit which contributed S$719k to the bottom line. This is meaningful because companies usually pay tax rather than receive tax benefits. Of course, prima facie it's great to receive a tax benefit. However, the devil in the detail is that these kind of benefits only impact in the year they are booked, and are often one-off in nature. Assuming the tax benefit is not repeated every year, we could see its profitability drop noticeably, all else being equal. So while we think it's great to receive a tax benefit, it does tend to imply an increased risk that the statutory profit overstates the sustainable earnings power of the business.
Our Take On Second Chance Properties' Profit Performance
In the last year Second Chance Properties received a tax benefit, which boosted its profit in a way that might not be much more sustainable than turning prime farmland into gas fields. But on the other hand, it also saw an unusual item depress its profit. Considering all the aforementioned, we'd venture that Second Chance Properties' profit result is a pretty good guide to its true profitability, albeit a bit on the conservative side. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Second Chance Properties you should be mindful of and 1 of them is a bit unpleasant.
In this article we've looked at a number of factors that can impair the utility of profit numbers, as a guide to a business. 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.
If you decide to trade Second Chance Properties, use the lowest-cost* platform that is rated #1 Overall by Barron’s, Interactive Brokers. Trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds on 135 markets, all from a single integrated account.
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.