Should You Rely On IHS Markit's (NYSE:INFO) Earnings Growth?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 27, 2020
NYSE:INFO

It might be old fashioned, but we really like to invest in companies that make a profit, each and every year. That said, the current statutory profit is not always a good guide to a company's underlying profitability. Today we'll focus on whether this year's statutory profits are a good guide to understanding IHS Markit (NYSE:INFO).

We like the fact that IHS Markit made a profit of US$922.7m on its revenue of US$4.30b, in the last year. In the chart below, you can see that its profit and revenue have both grown over the last three years.

See our latest analysis for IHS Markit

earnings-and-revenue-history
NYSE:INFO Earnings and Revenue History November 27th 2020

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 have impacted IHS Markit's most recent profit results. That might leave you wondering what analysts are forecasting in terms of future profitability. Luckily, you can click here to see an interactive graph depicting future profitability, based on their estimates.

How Do Unusual Items Influence Profit?

For anyone who wants to understand IHS Markit's profit beyond the statutory numbers, it's important to note that during the last twelve months statutory profit gained from US$361m worth of unusual items. We can't deny that higher profits generally leave us optimistic, but we'd prefer it if the profit were to be sustainable. When we crunched the numbers on thousands of publicly listed companies, we found that a boost from unusual items in a given year is often not repeated the next year. And that's as you'd expect, given these boosts are described as 'unusual'. We can see that IHS Markit's positive unusual items were quite significant relative to its profit in the year to August 2020. As a result, we can surmise that the unusual items are making its statutory profit significantly stronger than it would otherwise be.

Our Take On IHS Markit's Profit Performance

As previously mentioned, IHS Markit's large boost from unusual items won't be there indefinitely, so its statutory earnings are probably a poor guide to its underlying profitability. For this reason, we think that IHS Markit's statutory profits may be a bad guide to its underlying earnings power, and might give investors an overly positive impression of the company. But the good news is that its EPS growth over the last three years has been very impressive. Of course, we've only just scratched the surface when it comes to analysing its earnings; one could also consider margins, forecast growth, and return on investment, among other factors. So while earnings quality is important, it's equally important to consider the risks facing IHS Markit at this point in time. For example - IHS Markit has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of IHS Markit's 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. 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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