Stock Analysis

Hooker Furniture's (NASDAQ:HOFT) Solid Profits Have Weak Fundamentals

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NasdaqGS:HOFT
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Hooker Furniture Corporation's (NASDAQ:HOFT) robust earnings report didn't manage to move the market for its stock. We did some digging, and we found some concerning factors in the details.

See our latest analysis for Hooker Furniture

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqGS:HOFT Earnings and Revenue History September 16th 2021

Examining Cashflow Against Hooker Furniture'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. This ratio tells us how much of a company's profit is not backed by free cashflow.

Therefore, it's actually considered a good thing when a company has a negative accrual ratio, but a bad thing if its accrual ratio is positive. 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.

Hooker Furniture has an accrual ratio of 0.21 for the year to August 2021. Unfortunately, that means its free cash flow fell significantly short of its reported profits. Even though it reported a profit of US$35.4m, a look at free cash flow indicates it actually burnt through US$9.3m in the last year. We saw that FCF was US$81m a year ago though, so Hooker Furniture has at least been able to generate positive FCF in the past. The good news for shareholders is that Hooker Furniture'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.

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.

Our Take On Hooker Furniture's Profit Performance

Hooker Furniture's accrual ratio for the last twelve months signifies cash conversion is less than ideal, which is a negative when it comes to our view of its earnings. Because of this, we think that it may be that Hooker Furniture's statutory profits are better than its underlying earnings power. On the bright side, the company showed enough improvement to book a profit this year, after losing money last year. 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 if you'd like to dive deeper into this stock, it's crucial to consider any risks it's facing. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Hooker Furniture (of which 1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) you should know about.

This note has only looked at a single factor that sheds light on the nature of Hooker Furniture'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. 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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