As a general rule, we think profitable companies are less risky than companies that lose money. Having said that, sometimes statutory profit levels are not a good guide to ongoing profitability, because some short term one-off factor has impacted profit levels. This article will consider whether Broadway Industrial Group's (SGX:B69) statutory profits are a good guide to its underlying earnings.
While Broadway Industrial Group was able to generate revenue of S$384.0m in the last twelve months, we think its profit result of S$4.32m was more important. The chart below shows that while revenue is flat over the last three years, the company has moved from unprofitable to profitable.
Not all profits are equal, and we can learn more about the nature of a company's past profitability by diving deeper into the financial statements. So today we'll look at what Broadway Industrial Group's cashflow tells us about the quality of its earnings. Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Broadway Industrial Group.
A Closer Look At Broadway Industrial Group'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. 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. That is not intended to imply we should worry about a positive accrual ratio, but it's worth noting where the accrual ratio is rather high. That's because some academic studies have suggested that high accruals ratios tend to lead to lower profit or less profit growth.
Broadway Industrial Group has an accrual ratio of -0.48 for the year to September 2020. That indicates that its free cash flow quite significantly exceeded its statutory profit. To wit, it produced free cash flow of S$40m during the period, dwarfing its reported profit of S$4.32m. Broadway Industrial Group's free cash flow improved over the last year, which is generally good to see.
Our Take On Broadway Industrial Group's Profit Performance
As we discussed above, Broadway Industrial Group's accrual ratio indicates strong conversion of profit to free cash flow, which is a positive for the company. Based on this observation, we consider it possible that Broadway Industrial 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. 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. Keep in mind, when it comes to analysing a stock it's worth noting the risks involved. You'd be interested to know, that we found 1 warning sign for Broadway Industrial Group and you'll want to know about this.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Broadway Industrial 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.
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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.
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