AdaptHealth Corp. (NASDAQ:AHCO) announced strong profits, but the stock was stagnant. Our analysis suggests that shareholders have noticed something concerning in the numbers.
To understand the value of a company's earnings growth, it is imperative to consider any dilution of shareholders' interests. AdaptHealth expanded the number of shares on issue by 48% over the last year. As a result, its net income is now split between a greater number of shares. Per share metrics like EPS help us understand how much actual shareholders are benefitting from the company's profits, while the net income level gives us a better view of the company's absolute size. Check out AdaptHealth's historical EPS growth by clicking on this link.
How Is Dilution Impacting AdaptHealth's Earnings Per Share? (EPS)
Unfortunately, we don't have any visibility into its profits three years back, because we lack the data. Zooming in to the last year, we still can't talk about growth rates coherently, since it made a loss last year. What we do know is that while it's great to see a profit over the last twelve months, that profit would have been better, on a per share basis, if the company hadn't needed to issue shares. So you can see that the dilution has had a fairly significant impact on shareholders.
If AdaptHealth's EPS can grow over time then that drastically improves the chances of the share price moving in the same direction. However, if its profit increases while its earnings per share stay flat (or even fall) then shareholders might not see much benefit. For that reason, you could say that EPS is more important that net income in the long run, assuming the goal is to assess whether a company's share price might grow.
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.
The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit
On top of the dilution, we should also consider the US$58m impact of unusual items in the last year, which had the effect of suppressing profit. 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. Assuming those unusual expenses don't come up again, we'd therefore expect AdaptHealth to produce a higher profit next year, all else being equal.
Our Take On AdaptHealth's Profit Performance
AdaptHealth suffered from unusual items which depressed its profit in its last report; if that is not repeated then profit should be higher, all else being equal. But unfortunately the dilution means that shareholders now own a smaller proportion of the company (assuming they maintained the same number of shares). That will weigh on earnings per share, even if it is not reflected in net income. Based on these factors, we think it's very unlikely that AdaptHealth's statutory profits make it seem much weaker than it is. If you'd like to know more about AdaptHealth as a business, it's important to be aware of any risks it's facing. For example, AdaptHealth has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is concerning) we think you should know about.
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. 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. 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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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