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. Today we'll focus on whether this year's statutory profits are a good guide to understanding Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE:HRC).
While Hill-Rom Holdings was able to generate revenue of US$2.88b in the last twelve months, we think its profit result of US$223.0m was more important. Happily, it has grown both its profit and revenue over the last three years, as you can see in the chart below.
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. This article will discuss how unusual items have impacted Hill-Rom Holdings' 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.
The Impact Of Unusual Items On Profit
To properly understand Hill-Rom Holdings' profit results, we need to consider the US$49m expense attributed to unusual items. It's never great to see unusual items costing the company profits, but on the upside, things might improve sooner rather than later. We looked at thousands of listed companies and found that unusual items are very often one-off in nature. And, after all, that's exactly what the accounting terminology implies. Assuming those unusual expenses don't come up again, we'd therefore expect Hill-Rom Holdings to produce a higher profit next year, all else being equal.
Our Take On Hill-Rom Holdings' Profit Performance
Because unusual items detracted from Hill-Rom Holdings' earnings over the last year, you could argue that we can expect an improved result in the current quarter. Based on this observation, we consider it likely that Hill-Rom Holdings' statutory profit actually understates its earnings potential! And the EPS is up 63% annually, 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. If you'd like to know more about Hill-Rom Holdings as a business, it's important to be aware of any risks it's facing. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign that you should run your eye over to get a better picture of Hill-Rom Holdings.
Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Hill-Rom Holdings' 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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