Does Graphic Packaging Holding's (NYSE:GPK) Statutory Profit Adequately Reflect Its Underlying Profit?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 24, 2021
NYSE:GPK

Statistically speaking, it is less risky to invest in profitable companies than in unprofitable ones. 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 Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPK).

It's good to see that over the last twelve months Graphic Packaging Holding made a profit of US$136.1m on revenue of US$6.43b. While it managed to grow its revenue over the last three years, its profit has moved in the other direction, as you can see in the chart below.

Check out our latest analysis for Graphic Packaging Holding

earnings-and-revenue-history
NYSE:GPK Earnings and Revenue History January 24th 2021

Importantly, statutory profits are not always the best tool for understanding a company's true earnings power, so it's well worth examining profits in a little more detail. This article will discuss how unusual items have impacted Graphic Packaging Holding'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?

To properly understand Graphic Packaging Holding's profit results, we need to consider the US$87m 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. If Graphic Packaging Holding doesn't see those unusual expenses repeat, then all else being equal we'd expect its profit to increase over the coming year.

Our Take On Graphic Packaging Holding's Profit Performance

Unusual items (expenses) detracted from Graphic Packaging Holding's earnings over the last year, but we might see an improvement next year. Because of this, we think Graphic Packaging Holding's earnings potential is at least as good as it seems, and maybe even better! Unfortunately, though, its earnings per share actually fell back over the last year. The goal of this article has been to assess how well we can rely on the statutory earnings to reflect the company's potential, but there is plenty more to consider. So if you'd like to dive deeper into this stock, it's crucial to consider any risks it's facing. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 4 warning signs with Graphic Packaging Holding, and understanding these should be part of your investment process.

Today we've zoomed in on a single data point to better understand the nature of Graphic Packaging Holding's profit. But there are plenty of other ways to inform your opinion of a company. 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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