It might be old fashioned, but we really like to invest in companies that make a profit, each and every year. 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. Today we'll focus on whether this year's statutory profits are a good guide to understanding Advanced Power Electronics (TPE:8261).
It's good to see that over the last twelve months Advanced Power Electronics made a profit of NT$134.0m on revenue of NT$2.79b. One positive is that it has grown both its profit and its revenue, over the last few years.
Of course, it is only sensible to look beyond the statutory profits and question how well those numbers represent the sustainable earnings power of the business. Today, we'll discuss Advanced Power Electronics' free cashflow relative to its earnings, and consider what that tells us about the company. Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of Advanced Power Electronics.
Zooming In On Advanced Power Electronics' Earnings
In high finance, the key ratio used to measure how well a company converts reported profits into free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio (from cashflow). 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.
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 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. That's because some academic studies have suggested that high accruals ratios tend to lead to lower profit or less profit growth.
Advanced Power Electronics has an accrual ratio of -0.13 for the year to September 2020. That indicates that its free cash flow was a fair bit more than its statutory profit. In fact, it had free cash flow of NT$315m in the last year, which was a lot more than its statutory profit of NT$134.0m. Given that Advanced Power Electronics had negative free cash flow in the prior corresponding period, the trailing twelve month resul of NT$315m would seem to be a step in the right direction.
Our Take On Advanced Power Electronics' Profit Performance
As we discussed above, Advanced Power Electronics has perfectly satisfactory free cash flow relative to profit. Because of this, we think Advanced Power Electronics' earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! And on top of that, its earnings per share have grown at an extremely impressive rate over the last three years. 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. With this in mind, we wouldn't consider investing in a stock unless we had a thorough understanding of the risks. At Simply Wall St, we found 1 warning sign for Advanced Power Electronics and we think they deserve your attention.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Advanced Power Electronics' profit. But there is always more to discover if you are capable of focussing your mind on minutiae. Some people consider a high return on equity to be a good sign of a quality business. 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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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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