We Think You Should Be Aware Of Some Concerning Factors In CN Energy Group's (NASDAQ:CNEY) Earnings

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 04, 2021
NasdaqCM:CNEY
Source: Shutterstock

CN Energy Group. Inc.'s (NASDAQ:CNEY) healthy profit numbers didn't contain any surprises for investors. However the statutory profit number doesn't tell the whole story, and we have found some factors which might be of concern to shareholders.

See our latest analysis for CN Energy Group

earnings-and-revenue-history
NasdaqCM:CNEY Earnings and Revenue History September 5th 2021

Examining Cashflow Against CN Energy Group's Earnings

One key financial ratio used to measure how well a company converts its profit to free cash flow (FCF) is the accrual ratio. 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. You could think of the accrual ratio from cashflow as the 'non-FCF profit ratio'.

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. 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.

For the year to March 2021, CN Energy Group had an accrual ratio of 0.37. As a general rule, that bodes poorly for future profitability. To wit, the company did not generate one whit of free cashflow in that time. Over the last year it actually had negative free cash flow of US$7.5m, in contrast to the aforementioned profit of US$1.58m. We also note that CN Energy Group's free cash flow was actually negative last year as well, so we could understand if shareholders were bothered by its outflow of US$7.5m.

Note: we always recommend investors check balance sheet strength. Click here to be taken to our balance sheet analysis of CN Energy Group.

Our Take On CN Energy Group's Profit Performance

As we discussed above, we think CN Energy Group's earnings were not supported by free cash flow, which might concern some investors. For this reason, we think that CN Energy Group's statutory profits may be a bad guide to its underlying earnings power, and might give investors an overly positive impression of the company. In further bad news, its earnings per share decreased in the 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. If you want to do dive deeper into CN Energy Group, you'd also look into what risks it is currently facing. When we did our research, we found 3 warning signs for CN Energy Group (1 is potentially serious!) that we believe deserve your full attention.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of CN Energy Group'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. 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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